Fast start, 100 points and easy win for Shepherd men
When selecting basketball players, coaches value quickness, shooting ability, rebounding, versatility and size.
When romping past Urbana, 100-73, Shepherd owned vast advantages in quickness, shooting ability, rebounding, versatility and size.
The talent levels were far apart. And the score was far apart.
After the Rams scored the game’s first 11 points, it was evident that Urbana didn’t have the talent or means to find its second win in a 1-12 season.
Defense was also a Urbana shortcoming. The Blue Knights couldn’t keep the Rams from mostly doing what they planned. So free and easy was Shepherd that it would have only six turnovers in winning for the ninth time against six losses.
Urbana had 16 turnovers and was generally ineffective because Shepherd’s 6-foot-6 Ryan McTavish defended its 5-foot-10 point guard so well as to disrupt what plans ex-West Virginia University center and Blue Knights coach Rob Summers tried to implement.
Shepherd held a 46-24 lead by halftime, led by reserve guard Steffen Davis and his 13 points.
With 10:23 to play, Shepherd led, 73-43, and the only speculation left was whether the Rams might reach 100 points for the second time this season. There was no concerted effort by the Rams to get to 100. It just happened.
A.J. Carr rained second-half points on the retreating Blue Knights. He finished with 21 points after getting only four in the first half.
McTavish also strafed the Ohioans with his consistent three-point accuracy. He had 20 points.
Four other Shepherd players were able to reach double figures as the Rams went 35-for-61 (57 percent) from the field. Davis, Skyler Roman, Naim Muhammad and Winston Burgess all benefited from the 23 assists the team had. Roman was credited with nine assists and Davis had six.
Shepherd even had nine steals, the majority provided by McTavish who had four.
Moving to 9-6 overall and to its fourth straight Mountain East Conference win after opening the 2015-16 season with five consecutive league defeats, Shepherd pushed the Blue Knights farther into the conference basement with their 0-9 Mountain East mark and 1-13 overall record.
If the teams had provided players for a pick-up game, Shepherd would have had the first seven players taken, so vast was the difference in the talent of the two teams.