Long Fairmont lead is too much
Even though Gabby Flinchum made her last eight field goal attempts, Shepherd once trailed Fairmont by 38 points before bringing that deficit back to 13 points in the last stages of its 91-78 women’s basketball loss to the Fighting Falcons at the Butcher Center.
Trailing by a commanding 21 points by halftime of the Mountain East Conference game, Shepherd and Flinchum, who scored 18 of her 25 points in the second half, counted the first seven points in that half to rouse some of the 300 or so people in the crowd.
But Fairmont did not wilt.
Instead, the Falcons disregarded the Shepherd move and quickly reversed that trend to plunder the Lady Ram defense and sprint away to a robust 81-43 lead with a little more than 10 minutes remaining.
The 38-point lead was fueled by the unerring outside marksmanship of Emily Lohr and the 25 points from Makenzie White, 18 more from Hailey Garrett and 14 more off the bench from Brianna Innocent.
Lohr was 6-for-6 from the floor in the second half after going 0-for-8 in a dull-shooting first half.
Shepherd’s Flinchum missed her first four shots, was plagued by turnovers and had only seven points as Shepherd was basically overrun by Fairmont in the opening half.
But then Flinchum was a perfect 8-for-8 in the second half, and after adding in her 9-for-12 from the foul line, she finished with 25 points. Her 11 rebounds and five blocked shots augmented a performance where she did not commit any fouls after fouling out of too many games during Shepherd’s 2-13 record season.
To its credit, though being swamped by Fairmont’s dominance, Shepherd paid attention and kept on hustling as shown by its being able to outscore the once-out-of-sight Falcons by a 35-10 count in the final 10 minutes.
The outcome, however, was being decided in the opening half where Shepherd could muster only a miniscule six points in the first 10 minutes. Flinchum was quiet. Shepherd was all but beaten.
Evidence of Shepherd’s problem-filled night could be seen in the 0-for-5 showing it had on its three-point field goal attempts.
Shepherd remained in 11th place in the 12-school league with its 2-9 conference mark. Fairmont moved ahead to 6-4 in the Mountain East standings and to 8-5 overall.
Flinchum had been perfect from the field in the second half.
But Fairmont had parlayed its all-round play in the first 30 minutes into an comfortable conference win.