Rams use steady scorers to repulse Lock Haven women
SHEPHERDSTOWN — After jetting out to a seemingly comfortable lead over Lock Haven with a 22-point first quarter, Shepherd had to use its wits, its pugnacious attitude and its three main scorers to repulse the Bald Eagles’ last-ditch effort to pull out the PSAC game staged at the Butcher Center.
The Rams drifted back toward Lock Haven, by scoring only 10 points in the second quarter.
As the game wore on, nothing on the offensive end came easily for the perimeter-dominated Rams.
And then, with every possession possibly deciding the outcome, Shepherd set up play-after-play for point guard Abby Beeman and inside force Sydney Clayton.
Virtually going one-on-one against their defenders, Beeman and Clayton did just enough in the last quarter to ensure a 71-64 Shepherd victory.
Beeman could beat her defender off the dribble, while Clayton was much quicker than either of the inside defenders Lock Haven tried to harness her with in the late going. When those two Rams weren’t scoring, the majority of the rest of Shepherd’s points came from Marley McLaughlin.
Foul trouble plagued Clayton, who missed time in the second and third quarters.
Lock Haven’s half-court offense was a constant problem for the Rams. Just a few perimeter points were gained and long range shot-attempts were mostly missed. For the most part, the Bald Eagles operated inside the lane and on drives toward the basket.
Shepherd, other than Clayton, went with perimeter jumpers and mid-range shot-attempts.
Outrebounded, 38-31, Shepherd could collar only six offensive rebounds, but with Beeman, Clayton and McLaughlin scoring 50 points between them the Rams prevailed in the end.
The Bald Eagles made a concerted run with about six minutes to play. They sliced away at what was once a 10-point Shepherd advantage, getting their deficit down from 57-47 to 55-53 with an eight-point binge.
But Jordan Smith connected on a crucial three-pointer and Beeman continued to have the edge on her defender.
The Rams went to 11-4 overall and edged over the break-even mark in the PSAC with a 5-4 league record. Lock Haven drifted back to 5-4 in the league and 8-6 overall.
Shepherd’s individual offensive use of Beeman and Clayton carried it against an opponent that didn’t yield anything without a distinct effort.