Two scoring runs get Shepherd past Kutztown
SHEPHERDSTOWN — The differences between Shepherd and Kutztown were mostly of little consequence and cosmetic.
It was two scoring runs — one in the first half and then midway through the last half — that lifted Shepherd to a 76-63 conference win over Kutztown last Saturday at the well-filled Butcher Center.
Shepherd’s 13-2 sprint toward the close of the opening half turned a 18-12 Shepherd deficit into a 25-20 lead.
Early in the last half, the Rams outpointed the Golden Bears, 9-0, to quickly move to a 47-39 lead.
Other than those Shepherd moves, the two teams were generally even, as their team-wide defensive efforts dominated the scoring tempo of the game.
High-percentage shots were not often in evidence. Offensive rebounds on either end rarely presented themselves.
Energy was expended, and each team was as forceful on defense, as they were in executing their half court offenses.
Shepherd had Thomas Lang (24 points) at his best in its two scoring binges. Kutztown had quick-footed freshman Wesley Butler contributing his 24 points as it tried to keep pace with the Rams.
The Rams moved within one game of the break-even mark, and took a 9-10 record this past Wednesday against East Division kingpin Shippensburg (12-1 in the PSAC and 16-3 overall). Kutztown had an 8-11 overall mark and was just 6-7 in the conference when counting the loss to Shepherd.
Lang had scored evenly throughout the second half, as the Rams counted 46 points in those 20 minutes.
Jarrell Jones did much the same, as several of his field goals immediately halted any Kutztown attempt at a comeback.
Over the past week, the Rams have inched ahead to 5-8 in conference games and need more winning outcomes in order to qualify for the PSAC league tournament, where only the top six teams in the each nine-team division will go to the conference tournament.