Trio of scorers get Shepherd past Millersville
SHEPHERDSTOWN — The first half is where Shepherd did enough to get it past Millersville, 81-73, in the season-opener for the two men’s basketball teams.
Seventeen free throws, as compared with Millersville’s puny output of five made free throws, helped the Rams to a 41-31 lead by intermission. And when the Marauders made only five more foul shots in the second half, they could barely dent the double-figure lead the Rams enjoyed at halftime.
It was the consistent scoring of Derek McKnight and Winston Burgess that promoted Shepherd’s halftime edge. McKnight (23 points) and Burgess (22 points) were joined by point guard Thomas Lang (21 points) in guiding the Shepherd offense.
Millersville’s Marcus Adkison provided the Pennsylvanians with even-flow scoring, but his mates couldn’t find enough points to give him enough help.
Shepherd’s points came from the the foul line, perimeter, inside and in transition, while the Marauders could never find enough scoring anywhere, and were never helped by the ordinary play of their point guards.
The Rams would finally make 25 of their 34 free throws, while Millersville was a stagnate 10-of-19 from the foul line.
With its 10-point halftime lead only seriously threatened once throughout the second half, Shepherd always found refuge at the foul line when its offensive options were not producing much.
Millersville got to within 61-59 of the Shepherd lead, when the game’s pace droned along, and the earlier spiced tempo was replaced by a hum-drum flow that couldn’t find much scoring.
When it arrived at the foul line in the bonus at the 4:03 mark, Shepherd was where it needed to be to protect its lead.
Free throws once again buoyed the Rams, and they safely put away the win over a team they will see two times next season, when Shepherd will join the East Division of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.