Shepherd Women’s Basketball Falls Behind Early, Late Surge Not Enough to Defeat West Virginia Wesleyan

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After a first half in which the Rams gave up 44 points and allowed the West Virginia Wesleyan College Bobcats to shoot 51.43 percent on two-point field goals in the first half, the Rams mounted a second-half comeback. Coming out of halftime, the Rams stepped up their game and intensity, outscoring the Bobcats 25-8 in the third quarter to make it a 52-50 contest in favor of the Bobcats.

However, the first half deficit the Rams allowed to grow ultimately proved to be too much in the end, as the Bobcats pulled away in the fourth quarter with a final score of 78-63.

The Rams had a hard time keeping Mari Stewart in check for the game. She was the leading performer for the Bobcats, with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Fellow Bobcat Lana Long had 20 points as well, while Rachel Vandertoolen and Tara Goldman had 13 points a piece.

Up by as many as 23 points in the second quarter, the Bobcats were clicking on all cylinders, as the team shot 50.8 percent from two-point field goals for the entire game and made 16 out of 20 from the free throw line. The Bobcats were lethal in many areas as the team had 26 points in the paint, 16 point off of turnovers, and 13 second chance points. Also, the reserve players made valuable contributions, scoring 27 points to aid in the winning effort.

The Rams shot 43.1 percent from the field on two-point field goals for the game. Their points in the paint (20) and points off turnover totals (17) were similar to the Bobcats, but where the Rams really struggled was second chance points, having just two for the game. The Bobcats held them in check in this crucial area, where the Rams could have made more noise in their comeback attempt.

However, the Rams’ junior guard Morgan Arden lead the team with 17 points, surpassing the 1,000-point plateau for her career at Shepherd. She now has 1,014 career points. Arden also went 3-of-5 from three-point land, made all four of her free throws, and added four rebounds and three assists.

In the failed comeback effort, the Rams also got valuable performances from senior guard Cara Mason, who had 13 points and a game-best six assists by sharing the ball and helping her teammates get into the groove of the game. Senior forward Liz Myers and junior guard Tiffany McKinney both had eight points a piece as well.

The Rams made 43.1 percent of their shots, while from downtown the team went 4-of-14 (28.6 percent).

One reason why the Rams did not get many second chance points was the fact that the Bobcats dominated the boards, edging the Rams in rebounds 43-25. The Rams did generate 19 turnovers while having 13 themselves, but it was not enough to win.

The Rams (2-3, 0-2 MEC) will aim to get back to .500 when they take the court again next Monday, November 28, at Virginia Union for a 6 p.m. matchup.

Anthony Bracken is a Sports Reporter for The Picket. He can be reached at abrack02@rams.shepherd.edu