Drought of points ruins Lady Rams
A microscopic two points in the first 12 minutes of the second half was reason enough to pull the Shepherd women down to a 73-58 loss to University of Virginia at Wise on Saturday at the mostly empty and eerily quiet Butcher Center.
What had once been Shepherd leads of 10-0 and then 37-30 at the half of the Mountain East Conference game became a 55-39 deficit after 12 minutes had gone by in the second half.
Stone-cold Shepherd had been outscored, 25-2, in those dozen minutes of dreadful shooting by the Lady Rams.
Not only couldn’t Shepherd score for all that time, but the Lady Cavaliers were disregarding the match-up zone defense the Lady Rams presented.
Makenzie Cluesman was toying with the Shepherd defense while scoring 19 points in a half where the visitors were going to outscore Shepherd, 43-21, and move to their seventh win in 12 games. Foul-plagued Katie Jo Lester augmented Cluuesman’s able scoring with 12 second-half points herself.
Virginia-Wise paid little attention to the Shepherd zone and enjoyed the shooting gallery it was presented in making 59 percent of its second-half field goal attempts.
When its three most responsible and able scoring threats were silent through the early stages of the second half, Shepherd was powerless to keep pace with the suddenly forceful Lady Cavaliers.
Gabby Flinchum (16 minutes, five fouls and 12 points), Jimyse Brown (25 minutes, four fouls and 10 points) and Rachel Johnson (26 minutes and 10 points) are Shepherd’s best scorers. Even though Brown and Johnson don’t start and Flinchum is removed from games when she gets tagged with her second personal foul, if those three aren’t scoring with some consisteny, Shepherd reaches a point where a drought of points can drag it down.
Getting outscored, 25-2, in a 12-minute span is a drought of points.
The Flinchum-Brown-Johnson threesome was a collective 12-for-32 from the field, while the rest of the team was only 9-for-37 (24 percent).
As a team, Shepherd was only 9-for-35 (22.9 percent) in its free-fall second half.
Once it unloosed Cluesman and Hester in the second half, Virginia-Wise showed a first-seen confidence and paid little attention to Shepherd’s halfcourt defense.
Shepherd showed a 2-10 overall record following its submerged second-half shooting miseries.
Scoring two points in 12 minutes is rarely seen. And Shepherd won’t want a repeat of the January, 2014 drought returning any time soon.