Shepherd starts 2-0 against CIAA teams
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Buoyed by a pair of second-half surges, Shepherd began its women’s basketball schedule with wins against Winston Salem State and Shaw of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
In its season opener last Friday against Winston Salem State, the Rams moved past a one-point deficit after three quarters, to post a 70-59 win that saw Shepherd outpoint the visitors, 26-14, in the fourth quarter.
The Rams made a pedestrian 12-of-22 free throws, but Winston Salem State was even less accurate with a 3-for-10 showing from the foul line.
Trailing 17-8 after one quarter, Shepherd moved within two points of the lead and left the floor at halftime, down by a 29-27 count. After what was basically an even third quarter, Shepherd owned the final 10 minutes to post its win.
Sydney Clayton had 21-point game for Shepherd. She also claimed 10 rebounds, even though the Rams were outrebounded, 44-35.
Although Shepherd could only go seven players deep without a significant drop-off in effectiveness, Winston Salem State had no reserves that could help it.
In Saturday’s 86-71 win over Shaw, the Rams got loose after halftime to outpoint the Bears, 48-36, in the second half.
Marley McLaughlin made 9-of-10 field goal attempts to post a game-high 23 points. Kayla Tibbs scored in double figures for the second successive game and posted 19 points. Clayton followed with her 14 points.
The Rams converted 14 of their 18 free throws to help erase the effect of the team’s 20 turnovers.
Shaw committed 21 turnovers, in losing its second game in the two-day event.
Shepherd’s young and inexperienced bench played the final four minutes as a unit.
After seeing another CIAA team — Virginia Union — this past Wednesday, the Rams move into conference play on Saturday, when rugged West Virginia State moves into the Butcher Center. On Monday, Charleston, another conference school, is in town for Shepherd’s fifth-straight home game, to begin the 2018-2019 season.