White-knuckle wins give Rams seven straight victories
Still unbeaten in the 2018 portion of its schedule, Shepherd took a pair of down-to-the-wire conference wins last week.
Both victories were on the road – the first a 94-91 shootout over host Notre Dame and the second a 61-58 overtime win at Urbana.
The two last-gasp wins made the Rams 10-6 overall and moved them into a tie for fourth place in the MEC with West Virginia State.
Now 6-4 in the league, Shepherd had won seven straight going into a home date with West Virginia Wesleyan on Jan. 17.
In the hold-your-breath success at Notre Dame, the Rams led 49-48 at the half and didn’t clinch the victory until AJ Carr made two free throws with three seconds remaining.
Both teams sizzled from the field, with the Rams making 56 percent of their field goal tries and the Falcons sinking 54 percent of theirs.
Derek McKnight scored 23 points for the Rams and Thomas Lang finished with 16 points. Shepherd placed five players in double figures. Notre Dame was 4-11 overall with the loss.
In stopping Urbana, the Rams had Winston Burgess score 22 points and claim 10 rebounds. Burgess was 8-for-9 from the field and made 6-of-8 free throws. Carr provided his eighth double-double of the season.
Shepherd trailed 31-26 at the half and the game went to overtime tied at 51-51. Urbana was only 3-12 after the loss.
The Rams trail unbeaten West Liberty, Wheeling Jesuit (9-1 in the league) and Fairmont (8-2 in the league) in the conference standings.
The Shepherd women stood at 8-8 overall and 4-6 in the MEC after absorbing an 85-52 loss to Notre Dame on the road and being edged at Urbana, 79-78. Notre Dame was 11-5 and Urbana was 9-5.
Against Notre Dame, the Rams were never close, trailing 19-5 after one quarter and 46-18 by halftime.
The Rams committed 21 turnovers and were outrebounded 37-25. Sydney Clayton scored 18 points and Morgan Arden added 17 points.
In the narrow loss at Urbana, the Blue Knights led 39-38 at halftime and held on at the very end, when Sylvia Hudson made a free throw with one second to play.
Arden scored 25 points and doled out eight assists. Kayla Tibbs had 16 points and Clayton notched 10 points and secured 11 rebounds.
Shepherd played West Virginia Wesleyan on Jan. 17 in a conference game.
Glenville, unbeaten in its Mountain East games, leads the women’s division of the MEC.