The Rams went on the road Feb. 4 to face the Davis & Elkins Senators, looking to snap their three game slide. They won, 86-82 in overtime. It was their second overtime game this season and they are 2-0 in those games.
The win was a result of a superhuman effort by senior forward Chad Moore, who had 36 points and 12 rebounds. Moore’s fingerprints were all over the game as he also accounted for five assists, two steals and a blocked shot. From the free-throw line, he shot 10 for 13. Junior guard Brantley Osborne was the Robin to Moore’s Batman, scoring 23 points with five assists and three steals. He hit 7 out of 12 shots from three point range.
For the Senators, senior guard D’Quan Lynch narrowly missed a triple double with 25 points, 13 assists and 9 rebounds. Senior big man Igor Premasunac had a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards.
Aside from the two big games from Moore and Osborne, nothing stood out for Shepherd. They only shot a shade over 45 percent from the field and a meager 31 percent from long range. They did get more people involved, totaling 23 assists. Sophomore guard Austin Cunningham led the way with eight assists. Moore hit a jumper with 1:26 left in the second half to force overtime. He scored six of Shepherd’s nine points in overtime to propel Shepherd to a win.
Up next on the road for the Rams were the 8-11 West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats. Shepherd won soundly, 76-51. This was a game where points were coming from all directions. Four players scored in double figures. Senior guard Marcus Pilgrim and junior forward Morgan McDonald tied for the team-high with 15 points. Osborne has 14 and Moore had 13.
The only notable game from a Bobcats player was that of Kelsey Williams. He had 21 points and seven rebounds.
Shepherd shot 56.9 percent for the game. They started out at an even 50 percent in the first half, but in the second half they shot a remarkable 65 percent. From beyond the arc, the Rams shot a respectable 44 percent. Even with all of this efficient shooting and spreading of points, they only had 12 assists.
This is the kind of game the Rams needed, though. They simply had to get their confidence back with a few wins, especially in such dominant fashion against the Bobcats.
This past Saturday against the Concord Mountain Lions, they hit a speed bump and lost a close one, 78-77.
Senior Mountain lion forward Damien Tunstalle had a game-high 35 points, three of which were the deciding basket with only six seconds left in the game. He went 9-13 from three-point land. His nine threes tied the Butcher Center record.
Chad Moore had 19 points while Osborne had 12 points. As a team, the Rams only got to the free-throw line 11 times and are only getting to the line an average of 12 times a game in the last three games. For such a solid free-throw shooting bunch, they could use those extra opportunities and turn a close loss into a comfortable win.
After this loss, Shepherd is now 13-9, 10-8 in the WVIAC. This late in the season, they cannot afford to trade wins as they visit Seton Hill on Feb. 14. The Griffins are 11-10, 8-9 in conference. They have lost two in a row as Shepherd looks to make it three. Like their game against West Virginia Wesleyan, the Rams need to make a statement against a middle-of-the-road Griffins team if they want to look like a threat heading into the WVIAC playoffs.