Shepherd Men’s basketball falls to West Virginia State 92-87 on the road

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Rams senior forward AJ Carr had 11 total points in Saturday's game against West Virginia State. (Photo Courtesy of Shepherd University's Athletics Department).

The Rams were unable to build off the momentum from Wednesday’s 82-65 victory against Holy Family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

The first half looked as good as it could for the Rams as they jumped out to an early 49-33 lead over West Virginia State. 

The first half lead saw two Rams, junior guard Devin Smith with 12 points and junior guard Derek Mcknight with 10 points score in the double digits. Sophomore guard Thomas Lang also added nine points of his own in the first half of action.  

The Rams offense shot 51.4 percent from the floor in the first half while holding West Virginia State to 30.4 percent. 

However, the second half was a different story as the Yellow Jackets came out with an explosion by their offense that saw them generate 59 points behind senior forward Robert Fomby’s 14 points and five rebounds.

The Yellow Jackets also shot 56 percent from the floor in the second half including 46 percent from three-point range as a team.  

The Rams had 15 turnovers as a team in the second half alone as West Virginia State ramped up the defensive pressure as the comeback mounted. The Rams had trouble finding their range in the second half as they managed just 33 percent from deep  

After the game Rams head coach Justin Namolik spoke about the second half turnaround by the Yellow Jackets.

“We let their full court press and their pressure in the half court effect us. We didn’t make good decisions and our turnovers led to easy baskets for them. Combining that with the threes they made in the second half, that led to us losing our lead, and the game.”

Namolik further elaborated on the teams turnover issue in the second half, “The biggest factor in the game were our turnovers. We can’t turn it over 23 times and expect to win.”

The next game for the Rams is Monday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. as they take on Charleston on the road.

Vaughn Brewer is a sports writer for The Picket. He can be reached at vbrewe01@rams.shepherd.edu