The Rams fell to 4-5 on the season after a tough 88-62 road loss to the Raiders of Shippensburg University (9-0) Monday evening.
The Raiders came out hot in the first half, posting 46 points. This was largely due to their three-point shooting efficiency, making 8-of-22 from downtown. Whether they shot inside or out, the Raiders were clicking on all cylinders in the first half, putting it to the Rams.
Shepherd’s defensive woes would continue in the second half, as Shippensburg would make seven more three-pointers to put the game out of reach for the Rams. The Rams proved unable to guard the three-point line all night long, which led to their demise.
In a game that would be decided largely by three-point shooting, the Rams went 4-of-20 from distance. This was not good enough to match the offensive onslaught in this department that the Raiders displayed.
A layup by Clay Conner of the Raiders put the dagger in the contest, as this put the Raiders up by 30 at 71-41 with 10:24 to play.
Shepherd just did not have the defense or the offensive firepower to keep up with Shippensburg on this particular night. Allowing the Raiders to convert on fifteen three-pointers while making just four themselves makes it very difficult to win a road match up. Getting out-rebounded 41-32 did not help matters either, as the Raiders established their presence down low. However, despite falling behind early, the Rams had only seven turnovers while forcing six Raiders’ turnovers.
Antonio Kellem of the Raiders had 22 points, while teammate Dustin Sleva posted a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds that provided a foundation for the Raiders’ victory. Abe Massaley was a thorn in the side of the Rams all night long, as he had 18 points and six assists. John Castello proved to be a challenge to contain for the Rams, as he also recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Senior guard Naim Muhammad was the high-scorer for the Rams with 15 points. Junior guard Skylar Roman was a big contributor with 13 points. Junior forward AJ Carr had a reliable performance with 10 points and leading the Rams with seven rebounds.
The Rams made 41.3 percent of their shots on the night, going 4-of-20 from downtown as well. Getting to the free throw line proved to be a challenge, as the Rams had just eight for the game, making six of them.
The Raiders lit up the scoreboard all night long, making 53.1 percent of their shots, thanks in large part to their 15-of-32 three-point barrage display. They also got to the foul line a little bit more than the Rams, making 11-of-14 from the charity stripe.
When the Rams take the court again on December 30, they will be looking to get back to .500 against Lincoln University. This road match up will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Anthony Bracken is the Sports Editor of The Picket. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org