New Year toasts for Rams’ men’s, women’s basketball
Turning the calendar from 2017 to 2018 proved beneficial for both of Shepherd’s basketball teams.
The Shepherd men defeated Concord, 91-73, and two days later beat Virginia-Wise, 85-71, to make a quick rise in the Mountain East Conference standings.
After the two wins in the first week of January, Shepherd was 8-6 overall and 4-4 in the league.
Concord came to the Butcher Center with a 5-1 conference record but was dispatched when the Rams placed five players in double figures, led by Steffen Davis and Winston Burgess with 19 points each. A.J. Carr registered his sixth double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Tommy Bolte, the nation’s leading scorer in the NCAA Division II ranks, had 38 points for the Mountain Lions.
Burgess didn’t miss a shot in the 14-point win over Virginia-Wise, going 8-for-8 from the field and 3-for-3 from the foul line for his 19 points. Carr posted 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Davis totaled 15 points.
Shepherd’s largest lead was 15 points. Wise hung close for the most part because it committed only five turnovers.
The Shepherd women also improved their overall record to 8-6 and moved to 4-4 in the league with a 73-66 win over Concord and a 65-53 victory against Virginia-Wise.
After going scoreless in Shepherd’s 60-point loss at Virginia State, Morgan Arden scored 40 points in the win over Concord. Arden’s 40 points established a new single-game scoring record at Shepherd.
Kayla Tibbs had 11 points and Kari Lankford 11 rebounds and eight assists for the Rams.
Concord committed 19 turnovers. Shepherd claimed a 46-32 edge in rebounds.
The Rams held a scant 38-35 lead at halftime.
Shepherd got away from Virginia-Wise in the fourth quarter, when it went on a 14-2 tear in the stanza.
Virginia-Wise committed 26 turnovers.
Arden totaled 22 points, and Lauren Reed added a season-high 12 points.
Sydney Clayton had nine points and eight rebounds.
The Highland Cavaliers left the Butcher Center with 2-11 overall record.
Shepherd’s New Year celebrations were held on Jan. 4 and Jan. 6, and gave both teams an upward curve to the middle of their respective seasons.