The Lady Rams (6-6, 2-4 MEC) struggled in every aspect of the game in their road matchup against the undefeated Virginia State Trojans (12-0, 2-0 CIAA) in Ettrick, Virginia, Saturday afternoon, Dec. 30, losing by an 85-25 score.
Shepherd had a long day against the Virginia State Trojans. Shepherd shot a season low of 21.1 percent (8-38) from the field, and only 9.1 percent (1-11) from the three-point line. Getting to the foul line was a struggle as well. The Rams took just 11 free throws and made eight of them (72.7 percent).
The Rams could not get anything going offensively, as most of the Rams’ mistakes were caused by the Trojans’ ferocious defense.
Virginia State forced Shepherd to turn the ball over 27 times, leading to 40 points off of turnovers for the Trojans. The Trojans scored about half of their points off of turnovers by Shepherd. Throughout the game, the Trojans just kept plucking the ball away from Shepherd, collecting 21 steals.
Rams junior guard Kayla Tibbs led the Rams in scoring with eight points. Freshman forward Sydney Clayton added six points and seven rebounds for the Rams. Junior forward Liz Moormann collected five points and a team-high nine rebounds.
The Rams were forced to rush their shot attempts throughout the whole game, as the pressure from the Trojans’ defense seemed to frustrate them.
At the end of the first half, the score was 40-10 in favor of the Trojans. Virginia State already had more points than Shepherd would score in the whole game.
In the second half, the Trojans continued to click on all cylinders. Offensively, the Trojans shot 46.2 percent (12-26) in the second half and made five three pointers. On the defensive side, the Trojans continued to wreak havoc on Shepherd’s offense, forcing them into tough shots and turnovers.
Virginia State won the edge in rebounding by a 38-31 margin, helping them to score 36 points in the paint and 11 second chance points. The Trojans dominated in the paint while their guards took care of things around the perimeter.
Offensively, Virginia State was in a good rhythm all game long. For the game, the Trojans shot 45.8 percent from the field (33-72) and 46.2 percent (12-26) from beyond the three-point line. From the free throw line, however, the Trojans shot just 63.6 percent (7-11).
Trojans senior guard Alexis Smith led all players with 28 points, seven assists, and five steals. The Trojans also had four other players in double figures. Both Chrisanna Green, a junior forward, and Mia Fitts, a senior guard, had 11 points for the Trojans. Green also had a game high 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double.
Trojans senior guard/forward Keyana Brown had 13 points on the afternoon. Dionna Marcus, a senior guard/forward, posted 12 points and four rebounds against the Rams.
The Rams will look to redeem themselves when they host Concord University on Thursday, Jan. 4, at 5:30 p.m.
Justin Cole is a sports writer for the Picket. He can be reached at email@example.com