Offense fails Rams in women’s loss to Wheeling Jesuit
When Morgan Arden couldn’t get enough shots against the Wheeling Jesuit defense, Shepherd had precious little chance to score.
Arden, whose forte in a halfcourt offense is shooting stand-still set shots, searched and searched for her opportunities, but couldn’t get many as the hard-pressed Rams fell to the Cardinals, 63-50, in a conference game last Saturday at the mostly quiet Butcher Center.
Without Arden as its wellspring of scoring, Shepherd managed only seven points in the second quarter and a game-deciding five points in a mostly barren third quarter. Arden attempted just 11 shots.
Even with a scoring sprint of sorts in the fourth quarter, the Rams couldn’t overcome Wheeling Jesuit’s 19-point lead after three periods.
Both teams entered the afternoon with losing records. Shepherd’s third straight loss left it with a 9-11 overall mark and a 5-9 Mountain East Conference record. The Cardinals left Shepherdstown with a 9-11 overall mark and a 7-7 league record.
After consecutive losses on the road to Fairmont and West Liberty, the Rams moved some previous starters to the bench and tried a new face in an effort to get more scoring.
In a first half that moved along smoothly enough with few turnovers by either side, Wheeling Jesuit used its dominant defensive rebounds to carry a slender 32-26 lead into halftime.
After the intermission, the Cardinals came out with much more verve and energy than the Rams carried with them.
Outscoring the Rams, 18-5, in the third period provided the Cardinals with more than enough room for error or to offset stagnate scoring.
Turnovers had sprouted in alarming numbers and became a theme in the second half. The game-winning Cardinals finished with 27 turnovers while Shepherd committed 21 floor errors to further poison its chances, already harmed by a low percentage on its field goal attempts and by trying only 11 free throws.
Shepherd’s high-water mark came with only 3:03 remaining, when Kari Lankford made a steal and scored to bring back the Wheeling Jesuit lead to 56-46. The Rams could get no closer to ending their smallish losing streak.