Rams drop game to number 5 ranked Cal (PA) 78-60

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Kari Kanford for the Rams dribbling against cal pa
Senior guard Kari Lankford dribbling up the floor against Cal PA Wednesday Night. (Credit: Shepherd University Athletics Department)

After a successful opening weekend, the Lady Rams lost their first game of the season to highly ranked California (PA) Wednesday night, 78-60. It was an off night for the Rams on the offensive side of the ball, which they couldn’t afford against such a good team.

The Vulcans were led by forward Gina Vallecorsa’s 30 points, a game high. Vallecorsa went 8-8 from three-point land, and as a team the Vulcans shot 11-17 from deep, a ridiculous 64 percent.

The Rams in comparison could only get off three attempts from three-point range with the Vulcans applying high team pressure on defense. They consistently ran the Rams off the three-point line and made them take bad, contested shots.

A poignant stat that shows the pressure the Vulcans applied is that they forced the Rams to commit 17 turnovers for the game, and uncharacteristically senior forward number 13 Kayla Tibbs had six of them. Of the 17 forced turnovers, 11 of them were steals.

Tuesday’s game was a letdown for the Rams. They were competitive from the jump but just couldn’t hit as many shots as the Vulcans, and the Rams last held a tie with 5 minutes to go in the first quarter at 9-9.

Besides Vallecorsa’s 30 points, five other Vulcans had eight points or more, evidence of solid ball movement and open shots. The Rams were led in the scoring department by senior guard number 22 Kari Lankford, who put up 17 points on 4-7 shooting. Two other Rams scored in the double digits with sophomore forward Sydney Clayton putting up 14 points and Kayla Tibb’s 12.

The Rams were also bested in the rebounds department, as the game ended with the Vulcans possessing a 32- 23 advantage. Forward Sierra Barrett was an absolute force on the offensive glass for Cal with four offensive rebounds, but her relentlessness led to other offensive rebounds for her teammates.

With the loss, the Rams fall to 2-1 on the season with Cal (PA) now 3-0. They will look for a bounce back win against Saturday, Nov 17 against West Virginia State at 2 p.m.

Vaughn is a sports editor for the Picket. He can be reached at vbrewe01@rams.shepherd.edu