The Rams fell to 3-6 on the season after a road loss to the Lightning of Goldey-Beacom College, by a score of 77-65.
Both teams established their presence in the paint, as the Rams were outscored there 34-30. Senior forward Liz Myers was the leader in this department, finishing the game with 14 points and nine rebounds.
The three-point shot was an unexpected asset for the Rams in this contest. Going 8 of 17 from downtown stretched the defense of the Lightning, forcing them to come out and leave the paint exposed.
After a first half in which the Rams shot 56 percent on two-point field goals, the second half did not produce the same results. The team shot 34.38 percent in the second half in this area, as the Lightning defense stiffened. Following the third quarter of action, the Rams were down 54-52, but were outscored 23-13 in the final frame.
The three-point shot was the x-factor in this contest for sure. Despite making 5 of 10 from downtown in the second half, the Rams could not find a way to contain the Lightning from three-point range in the deciding quarter. Two three-pointers by Lexi Bruno and one by Mara Poch and Tanner Turner-Rush put the game out of reach for the Rams. Senior guard Sammy Bane of the Rams made two three-pointers herself, but they were basically all of the offense the Rams were able to generate in the critical fourth quarter.
However, there were other factors that decided this contest. The Lightning had edges in many critical categories. For instance, on defense the Lightning generated Rams’ turnovers that led to 24 easy points. Also, keeping the Lightning from getting offensive rebounds proved to be a real struggle, as the Lightning had 20 second chance points. In a game that was close throughout, at the end of the day, these critical factors piled up and resulted in the downfall of the Rams Saturday afternoon.
Lexi Bruno and Brittani Bryson had 28 and 20 points, respectively, that paved the way for the Lightning victory. Bryson also had 14 rebounds for a double-double. Teammate Nina Bartlette contributed nine points as well for the Lightning.
As for the Rams, junior guard Morgan Arden provided a spark with 13 points, and senior guard Cara Mason poured in 10 points and five assists.
The Rams shot 43.9 percent from the field, while the Lightning did slightly better, shooting 46.3 percent.
Even though the Rams got outscored in the paint and had a hard time keeping the Lightning off of the offensive glass, the Rams held an edge in the rebounding department (39-32). In addition to the three-pointer being one of the biggest factors of the game, another one was turnovers: the Rams had 21 turnovers as a team and generated just seven in return.
The Rams next game will be in a warmer climate, as they will travel to Puerto Rico where they will look to get back on the right track Thursday, December 15, against the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez at 5 p.m.
Anthony Bracken is a Sports Reporter for The Picket. He can be reached at email@example.com