In what was a dazzling display offensively, the Rams (6-5, 3-2 MEC) took down the Roars (5-6, 1-3 MEC) of Concord University in Athens, West Virginia, Tuesday night by the score of 87-74.
To say the Rams’ offense was potent was an understatement in this contest. In what proved to be a shootout, the Rams never panicked. Shooting 58.1 percent for the game, including going 10-of-23 from three-point territory, the Rams executed their offense very well.
Leading 41-35 at the half, the Rams still had some work to do to finish off the Roars.
With 2:19 to play, junior guard Steffen Davis of the Rams made a three-pointer that appeared to seal the game. However, Stephen Thompson of Concord quickly responded with a three-pointer of his own that cut the Rams’ lead to 80-66 with 2:03 to play, perhaps putting some doubt in the Rams’ minds.
Junior forward AJ Carr of the Rams countered and iced the game with a layup with 1:29 left that all but clinched the well-deserved road victory.
While the Rams did make their fair share of three-pointers, it was their inside game that proved to be the difference maker in this game. Scoring 40 points there really put a strain on the Roars’ defense, being unable to stop the Rams’ attack inside or out. Having 29 points from the reserves helped keep the high octane offense going as well.
Many players reached double figures in scoring for the Rams. Junior guard Steffen Davis led all scorers with 17 points. Other high scorers for the Rams included junior forward AJ Carr (15), junior guard Skylar Roman (14), sophomore forward Gavin McTavish (12), and freshman guard Thomas Lang (10). With as many scoring threats as the Rams had, it proved to be too much for the Roars’ defense to handle.
The Roars were only able to generate six points off of Rams’ turnovers. The Rams kept them from earning many second chance points (6) and fast break points (4). As a team, Concord shot 41.9 percent, making 10-of-28 three-pointers. This shooting performance was not near enough to match the Rams’ offensive display they showed all game long.
Concord was also unable to generate turnovers to get back into the game, forcing just nine Rams’ turnovers while giving the ball away 13 times themselves.
Michael Sanchez was the main scoring threat for Concord, finishing with 16 points. His teammate Aaron Miller had 13 points that helped them stay close to the relative offensive pace the Rams were playing at.
Despite the loss, Concord did critical rebounding battle 35-32.
The Rams will look to build off of this performance when they face UVa-Wise Thursday afternoon for a 4 p.m. contest.
Anthony Bracken is the Sports Editor of The Picket. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org