Shepherd Women’s Basketball Goes 1-1 in Opening Weekend of Action at Shepherd University

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The Shepherd women Rams’ basketball team went 1-1 against Winston-Salem State University and Shaw University this weekend at home in the Butcher Center.

In the first game of the season Friday against the Winston-Salem State University Rams, there was great drama as the Shepherd Rams defeated them by a score of 72-66 in overtime.

With the Shepherd Rams up 58-55 with little time left, Jasmine Carter of the Winston-Salem Rams launched a desperation three-pointer that went in to tie the game at 58 all to send the game into overtime.

From there though, the Shepherd Rams tightened up and outscored the Winston-Salem Rams 14-8 in the extra period. Junior Morgan Arden stepped up in big ways for the Shepherd Rams in overtime, making two free throws and a dagger three-pointer that all but sealed the game for the Shepherd Rams with a score of 72-66.

After a strong first quarter showing of 20 points, the Shepherd Rams combined to score just 18 points over the next two quarters. At the same time, however, the Winston-Salem Rams could not generate much of anything offensively during the second and third quarters, scoring just 24 themselves.

Juniors Morgan Arden and Kayla Tibbs of the Shepherd Rams did provide a spark from three- point range, going a combined 6 of 14. Where the Shepherd Rams struggled to score, Arden and Tibbs made up for it with their outside range.

When the Shepherd Rams could not seemingly generate much offense, they made up for it with their defensive play, scoring 36 points off turnovers to help get easy baskets to give the team the confidence they needed. The reserve players also made valuable contributions, scoring 32 points to make it a complete team effort.

In Saturday’s game against Shaw University, the results were not quite the same, as the Rams fell to the Bears in a shootout score of 83-79.

With the game tied at 65 with a little over 6 minutes to play, the Bears finished the contest on a 18-14 run to clinch the victory on the road.

A layup by junior guard Kayla Tibbs tied the game at 77 with 43 seconds to play, but the Bears countered with a jump shot from Julia Cordova with 29 seconds remaining to take a 79-77 lead.

Junior guard Morgan Arden made a three-point game with 2 seconds left, but a free throw by Bianca Maxwell of the Bears all but sealed the game, sending the Shepherd Rams to their first loss of the young season.

The Rams’ defense did force 22 turnovers, but allowed the Bears to shoot 50.0 percent from the field for the course of the game as the defense just could not seem to find a way to contain the Bears’ efficient offense.

Falecia Cabral and Stephanie Custodio both had 15 points for the Bears, while Chelsea Long contributed 12.

Junior guard Kayla Tibbs of the Rams was the leading scorer for the Rams, shooting 8-of-16 from the field for 18 points. Senior guard Cara Mason had a valuable all-around performance with 13 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds.

While the Rams had a fair amount of success from downtown (8-22), it was the Bears’ offense that just performed a little bit better. The Bears did not rely on their outside shooting but rather their inside shooting, controlling the paint by scoring 34 points. Having 15 points off of Rams’ turnovers also contributed to the win for the Bears.

The Shepherd Rams women’s basketball team faces off at Gannon University on Wednesday, Nov. 16, for their next contest.

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