McLaughlin disregards fouls, leads Rams over Red Raiders
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Little had gone according to plan for Shepherd in its women’s game versus first-place Shippensburg.
The visiting Red Raiders had blazed through the final 2:45 of the opening half to carry off a 43-31 lead into their locker room.
Smooth-scoring guard Marley McLaughlin had four fouls with 6:13 left to play, when it was decided she would stay in the PSAC game.
Even though saddled with those four fouls, McLaughlin went on a scoring tear in the game’s last minutes, finally finishing with a game-high 28 points after flooding the Red Raiders with 21 of those points in the second half.
Splicing those 28 points with Abby Beeman’s 19 points, the Rams had boisterously erased the 12-point deficit by scoring 47 second-half points to defuse the Red Raiders, 78-71, in an East Division match in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
The Rams still trailed, 55-51, after three quarters before the scoring tandem of McLaughlin and Beeman provided most of Shepherd’s 27 points in the fourth quarter.
McLaughlin even had a four-point play when she was fouled while converting a three-point field goal. She actually scored seven points in a 1:38 bit of playing time near the game’s close.
Neither McLaughlin nor Beeman covered themselves in glory in the troubled first half. They combined to go only 6-for-23 from the field as the Rams slid behind the methodically efficient Red Raiders.
But then Shepherd outscored the visitors, 20-12, in third quarter, and continued its uphill success through the last period by scoring 27 points to Shippensburg’s 16 points.
Sydney Clayton, who was burdened by foul trouble, came back to the close game with her fouls with 4:48 showing on the overhead clock and the Rams trailing by a point. She didn’t foul out, and Shepherd won by seven. Clayton contributed 16 points in only 22 minutes of court time.
Shippensburg maintained its first-place status with a 10-4 conference record, while Shepherd continued to shadow the Red Raiders with its 9-5 league record.
Shippensburg was 13-7 overall and Shepherd was 15-5.
By using its mostly effective full court press, Shepherd not only quickly altered the tempo of the game, but also increased Shippensburg’s mounting total of mistakes. The Red Raiders finished with 22 turnovers, and Shepherd had but 12 floor errors.
It could have been called “A Tale of Two Different Halves,” although McLaughlin and Beeman wrote it, instead of Charles Dickens.