Best in the league top Shepherd
The best teams in the Mountain East Conference have taken wins over the Shepherd men in recent games.
Unbeaten West Liberty (8-0) ran past the Rams, 99-80, at the Butcher Center, and then once-beaten Wheeling Jesuit outlasted the Rams, 67-62, even without the services of third-leading scorer Pat Moseh.
Nationally ranked West Liberty converted 26 of 34 free throws to keep the Rams chasing it all evening. Dan Monterosa (27 points), James Griffin (23), Dalton Bolon (19) and reserve Evan French (11 points in just 14 minutes) helped the Hilltoppers remain unbeaten.
The skimpy Shepherd bench could contribute only five points and five rebounds in the conference loss.
Winston Burgess had a season-high 21 points, with Steffen Davis getting 19, Thomas Lang 18 and AJ Carr 17.
Wheeling Jesuit found itself trailing the Rams, 33-26, at halftime in its first game after losing to Fairmont in a defeat that snapped its eight-game winning streak. The Cardinals outpointed the Rams, 41-29, in the second half.
Carr had 18 points and Lang another 17, but Davis was 2-for-12 from the field and 0-for-7 on three-point attempts, and Burgess had four points in 34 minutes of playing time.
Heywood Highsmith led the Cardinal scorers with 20 points while corraling 11 rebounds.
Shepherd plays Chestnut Hill (Pa.), a team with a 1-8 record, tomorrow at 4 p.m. at the Butcher Center.
The Shepherd women will take a 5-5 overall record into a Dec. 18 home game at 5:30 p.m. against formidable Shippensburg after splitting a pair of games versus West Liberty (a 79-72 win in overtime) and a 63-56 loss on the road versus Wheeling Jesuit.
Morgan Arden totaled 51 points in the pair of conference games. Kayla had 25 points and Kari Lankford 22 points when combining those two games.
In the comeback win over West Liberty, Arden scored 16 points in the fourth quarter alone as the Rams steadily overcame a 13-point deficit. Sydney Claytor claimed 14 rebounds and scored 10 points.
The Rams had a distinct 50-34 rebound advantage, but were hurt by 21 turnovers.
At Wheeling Jesuit, the Rams fell to a Cardinal team that moved its overall record to 3-6.
The Cardinals made 21 of 28 free throws as compared with Shepherd’s 4-of-9 showing.
Lankford took down 10 rebounds in addition to her 10 points in the loss.
Shepherd got to within two points of the lead in the fading minutes, but could never completely erase the Cardinal advantage.
The Shepherd teams will host a free clinic on Sunday from 3:30-6 p.m. at the Butcher Center, for children ages 6 to 13. Donations will be accepted for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Those planning to attend should RSVP via email to assistant coaches Bryan Lewis at blewis@Shepherd.edu or Jamie Cluesman at jcluesman@Shepherd edu.