Shepherd men’s basketball (12-12, 8-10 MEC) took advantage of the Cavaliers of UVA Wise on their home court Saturday, Feb 16. The Rams got off to a hot start in the first half allowing them to come out victorious 84-77.
On Shepherd’s first possession point guard Thomas Lang came off a screen and rose up over two defenders to nail a jump shot. Lang led the Rams in scoring with 20 points, shooting 11-12 from the charity stripe.
Senior Devin Smith had a huge impact for the Rams offensively, as he was seen multiple times driving hard to the basket.
Wise kept the game close midway through the first half until Jarrel Jones knocked down two three pointers. Shepherd went up by 12 points with 7:58, remaining in the first and would set the pace for the rest of the game.
Shepherd shot 54 percent from the field and 45 percent from behind the three-point line, whenever the Rams have a high three point percentage they usually win. Going into halftime the Rams maintained their lead with a 43-34 advantage.
Wise tried to storm back in the second half bringing the game within three points. Shepherd would take back momentum when Lang threw an alley hoop to Winston Burgess.
The Rams had multiple people contribute on the offensive end as Derrick McKnight collected 17 points while sophomore Jarrell Jones had a career high 15 points. Smith finished with 11 points after having a hot start in the first.
Shepherd led by as much as 19 points in the second half with 10 minutes remaining, until Cameron Whiteside of UVA Wise would help the Cavs go on a 27-15 run. Whiteside had a game high of 25 points bringing the game within seven points.
The Rams cancelled any plans Wise had of a comeback by going back up by 10 points. As time was expiring the Cavaliers were forced to foul, but fouled the wrong person as Lang kept his composure and knocked down the free throws.
With the end of the season aproaching us, the Rams will look to finish the year out strong when they travel to West Virginia State Wednesday, Feb 21, tip off is at 7:30 p.m.
Justin Cole is the Sports Editor for the Picket, he can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org