Shepherdstown, W.Va., – The Shepherd University women’s basketball team topped the Christopher Newport Captains 83-71 Thursday night in the Butcher Center.
Shepherd (2-0) was lead by sophomore guard Abby Beeman with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists.
“I think the team was just focusing on getting better this game and not really anything in particular, but we always try to play good defense and execute on offense,” said Beeman
Senior guard Marley McLaughlin for the Rams added 19 points to the overall score.
Beeman noted McLaughlin’s big jumpers she was able to hit down the stretch.
Shepherd head coach Jenna Eckleberry said, “ We knew this game was going to be different style game than we have seen this spring. We were focusing on press break and control the tempo and playing at the speed we want and not the speed of the opponent.”
The first quarter was won by CNU 23-25 with a buzzer beater shot. The Captains ended the second quarter with a 44-38 lead.
Junior guard for Shepherd Madi White said, “ In the first half they sped us up and the press threw us off, but in the second half we were able to effectively break the press and get open looks.”
Senior guard, Jasmine Norman lead CNU with 12 points
Eckleberry said the biggest challenge of the match was sustaining consistency and ball discipline.
“We knew we were going to get pressed for 40 minutes and when teams do that, we will have turnovers. But how you react to those turnovers and how you stop runs made by the opponent was the challenge. We did a great job of focusing on the next play and helping eachother out,” said Eckleberry.
After returning to the court for the second half of the match, the Rams stole the show. The women came out with a fire burning and it showed as they won the third quarter.
“We started to calm down after the first half and make the right plays in order for us to win. None of us wanted to lose, so that was all the motivation we needed coming out in the second half,” noted Beeman
White said, “Sydney Clayton had a great game. She was a huge part of our defense in the post and was able to finish some hard shots in order to get us going offensively.”
“The girls did a great job of executing in the second half with the adjustments that we made at halftime. We were able to control the tempo on offense even with them pressing the whole game and got the looks we wanted. We also did some things different on defense and the girls executed the plan,” said Eckleberry.
At this point in the season Eckleberry said, “We all have had many ups and downs and they have stuck together and pushed through everything. And I am always proud of their heart and competitiveness.”