The Rams (4-4) fell at home to Alderson Broaddus (2-7) 74-66 Friday night at the Butcher Center.
Trailing late in the second half, junior guard Steffen Davis of the Rams made two three-pointers in a fifty-second span that trimmed the Battlers’ lead to 66-60 with 3:09 to play, but from then on out the Battlers executed down the stretch to preserve the victory. A layup by the Battlers’ Sam Sanders with 1:04 left in regulation all but sealed the road victory for the Battlers.
In what was a relatively low-scoring first half of action, the Rams trailed 31-25. The Battlers’ shot 45.83 percent in the first half, while the Rams shot 40 percent. When the second half came around, both teams caught on fire, with the Battlers shooting an amazing 60 percent, going 4-of-8 from downtown. The Rams shot 46.43 percent in the second half, making six three-pointers.
The Battlers hurt the Rams in all areas offensively in the second half, inside and out. They seemed to be clicking on all cylinders, frustrating the Rams’ defense. A dunk by Malik Bocook of the Battlers off a fastbreak with 5:01 to play increased the Battlers’ lead to 14 at 65-51. Even though the Rams would climb back into the game, the deficit they generated just proved to be too much to overcome in the end.
Two of the bigger factors in the outcome of the game were points off turnovers and reserve points. While the Rams did generate 17 Battlers’ turnovers, they themselves gave up the ball 18 times. Shepherd had 19 points off turnovers, but Battlers held the edge here with 25 easy points. Also, the Rams did not display the same level of offensive firepower off the bench as the Battlers did. The Battlers’ reserves scored 32 points that greatly aided in their winning effort. The Rams had just five points from their reserves. These two areas ultimately led to their downfall.
Sam Sanders and Exzavier Cooper both had 16 points that guided the Battlers to victory. Fellow Battlers Malik Bocook and Jordan Haywood also contributed with 12 points a piece. Haywood also had six assists, who gave the Rams difficulties all night long.
Junior guard Steffen Davis of the Rams had 26 points to lead all scorers. He made six three-pointers and all four of his foul shots. Junior forward AJ Carr lit up the scoreboard with 18 points, and junior guard Skylar Roman filled up the stat sheet with nine points, seven rebounds (which led all players in the game), and six assists, also tied for the game lead with Haywood of the Battlers.
For the game, Alderson Broaddus shot 53.1 percent, going 8-of-19 from three-point range. The Batlers made 14-of-17 free throws as well. The Rams shot 43.4 percent making 7-of-23 three-pointers and 13 of their 18 foul shots.
Neither team was able to gain an edge in rebounding, as both teams fought hard for 28 rebounds a piece.
The Rams will look to push their record to 5-4 when they travel to the number twenty-two ranked Big Reds of Shippensburg University Monday night at 7 p.m.
Anthony Bracken is the Sports Editor of The Picket. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org