Shepherd outlasts Notre Dame in double overtime
There was no post holiday sluggishness ever on display last Saturday when Shepherd literally outlasted Notre Dame, 120-114, in double overtime in the Rams’ first game since celebrating Christmas with a pair of homecourt wins before Old St. Nicholas visited the Butcher Center.
The gritty efforts by both teams had their wave crests and highlights, but none more than the effective shooting by Shepherd guards Skyler Roman and Steffen Davis. Roman was true on 16 of his 17 free throws as he was the leader in his team’s converting 41 of its first 47 foul shots before the Rams missed two when the outcome had finally been decided in Shepherd’s favor. Roman had 27 points. Davis scored a co-high 27 points, making 6-of-11 three-point attempts and all five of his free throws.
Morgan McDonald’s 21 points gave the Rams three players with more than 20 points.
Only an eighth-step behind the free wheeling Rams were Notre Dame’s diminutive Tyree Gaiter (30 points), Lawrence DeArmond (29 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field) and long-range bomber Oliver Megins (23 points on 8-of-9 from the floor).
When the Rams made their first three shot-attempts nobody could know it was going to be necessary to score 90 points in regulation and 106 after the first overtime just to qualify to continue on into a second sweat-stained and white-knuckled overtime.
Notre Dame was never swayed or much impressed by anything the creative and sweet-shooting Rams were accomplishing.
The Falcons had their own brand of high-octane offense and quickly put the Rams behind on the scoreboard.
Even though it did not shoot a single free throw in the first half, Notre Dame only fell behind, 42-40, as the half closed on a Davis three-pointer that boosted Shepherd’s field goal percentage to 50 percent. The Falcons, who came to Shepherdstown with a 7-3 overall record, made 51.5 percent of their first-half shot tries.
The teams continued to wage offensive war throughout the fan-favored second half.
The fouls began to add up as the scoreboard quickly danced through the 70’s and 80’s before reaching 90 points in the last seconds of regulation play.
Free throws were like West Virginia coal or atomic energy as they fueled the Shepherd offensive cause.
Notre Dame always had Gaiter, DeArmond or Megins to answer any Shepherd message sent to the scoreboard by Roman, Davis, McDonald or A.J. Carr.
Shepherd’s slippery 79-72 lead was erased and quickly scattered by Notre Dame’s efficient offensive thrusts.
Gaiter made three free throws with only six seconds left to send the game hopping into overtime.
Shepherd’s 103-98 lead deep into the first overtime was matched by field goals from Megins and Gaiter.
McDonald converted one of his two free throws with 11 seconds remaining to necessitate a second overtime.
It was Notre Dame with the early lead in the next overtime. Megins made 2-of-3 free throws . . . but Shepherd made it a smallish and abbreviated smile on the Falcon sideline by scoring enough to move to a 120-112 lead as Gaiter missed several times, there were two Notre Dame turnovers and Megins fouled out.
As the last of the seconds escaped, the announced crowd of 631 greeted the Shepherd Mountain East Conference win with cheering, collectively regaining its breath and probably contemplating the words of public address announcer Paddy Alter to come back on Monday, Jan. 5, to see the Rams meet Urbana in another league trial.