East Stroudsburg free throws difference in beating Rams
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Making all 10 of its foul shots in the first half, and then adding nine more successful free throws in the second half, pushed East Stroudsburg past Shepherd, 59-56, in a close-to-the-vest women’s PSAC basketball game.
Shepherd attempted only eight free throws and made only four, in falling back to 5-5 in its Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference games. The Rams won all six of their non-conference games and were 11-5 overall. The Warriors were 11-5 overall and 7-3 in conference games.
As always, Shepherd needed consistent scoring and plenty of it from Abby Beeman, Marley McLaughlin and Sydney Clayton. But Clayton was in foul trouble, playing only 19 minutes and totaling just eight points in her disjointed minutes.
The Warriors were a team staffed with lithe, hustling players, with Tiffany Lapotsky leading the team and doing the majority of the team’s scoring.
Lapotsky had 17 first-half points, but the Rams held a slender 31-30 lead by the intermission.
East Stroudsburg’s bench had provided only seven points, as had Shepherd’s short list of reserves.
Third-quarter turnovers became more numerous, but the most important happening in those 10 minutes came, when Clayton incurred her fourth foul and came to the sidelines with 2:35 left in the quarter.
With 7:36 left in the game, Clayton re-entered. With 7:30 left, Clayton fouled out — leaving Shepherd’s scoring primarily in the hands of Beeman and McLaughlin.
Beeman scored six points on a pair of three-pointers, the last with 4:43 showing on the overhead scoreboard, to place Shepherd in the lead, 56-54.
But Shepherd could not score again. And the meager five points the Warriors managed were enough for them to score a three-point conference win.
The nearly five-minute drought and East Stroudsburg’s effective free throw showing made the differences in the game.