Unbeaten Virginia State not threatened by Shepherd
Undefeated Virginia State, now 12-0, made its last game before the 2018 portion of its schedule a winning one by slamming visiting Shepherd, 85-25, in an NCAA Division II women’s basketball game played in Ettrick.
Virginia State used its hustling backcourt pressure to completely control the tempo from beginning to end. The Spartans began exacting turnovers just after the opening tip and forged a 24-2 lead after just one quarter.
The lead had mushroomed to 40-10 by halftime.
With its turnover total continuing to mount, the Rams then trailed, 66-17, by the close of the third quarter.
Virginia State closed out its 60-point win by outpointing the Rams, 19-8, in the last quarter.
Shepherd saw its overall record go to 6-6 and now has only Mountain East Conference games remaining on its 2017-18 schedule.
Alexis Smith missed only four field goal attempts in becoming the Spartans leading scorer with 28 points.
Virginia State made 45.8 percent of its field goal attempts, including a telling 46.2 percent (12 of 26 tries) from three-point range.
While Shepherd had 27 turnovers in all, the Spartans completed the easy win with only nine turnovers.
Morgan Arden, who became Shepherd’s career leading scorer with nearly 1,600 points in the Rams’ last game, was held scoreless and missed her five field goal tries.
The Rams face Mountain East Conference rival Virginia-Wise tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Butcher Center in their next game.
In losing at Virginia State, Shepherd made just 8-of-38 (21 percent) of its field goal tries, including 1-of-11 (9 percent) of its three-point attempts.
But it was turnovers that became the main culprit in the non-conference loss.