Shepherdstown, W.Va., – The Butcher center was full of not only athletes but fans on Saturday evening. The Shepherd women’s basketball team beat Southern Virginia University 86-61.
After their loss to Liberty University the previous weekend, the women were ready to secure a win.
With fans and students in the bleachers the Rams walked onto the court aggressive and passionate and played with high energy.
Senior guard, Marley McLaughlin scored a game high 29 points.
Senior forward, Sydney Clayton said that McLaughlin brought a great attitude to the court, “she had a great performance, so much energy, and completely dominated the game.”
The Knights were led by sophomore guard Courtney McKrola with 15 points in just 13 minutes.
Clayton had 18 points and six rebounds.
The Southern Virginia Knights (0-5) played a good defense but SU was able to break through it with quick turns and sneaky passes from sophomore guard Abby Beeman.
“We took advantage of their weakness when it came to ball screens. We doubled on ball screens and it forced a lot of turnovers just like we thought it would,” said Clayton.
Beeman, who was named Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East freshman of the year in 2020, had a game-high 12 assists and added 14 points to the score.
Junior guard for Shepherd, Angela DeLorenzo said, “As they game went on, we learned that if we attacked the gaps, the kick out for the three would be open. A lot of players were hitting the open shot, so Southern Virginia had to adjust to guard the shooters.”
Freshman guard for Shepherd, Mackenzie Freeze had a remarkable debut in the Butcher Center. She had six points and 17 minutes on the court.
With numerous COVID measures in place Clayton is thankful to have some form of competition, “I’m extremely grateful that we have been able to pick up a few games. It may not be the season we pictured but I’m glad we get to play some good competition in these coming weeks.”
“It feels amazing that we have the opportunity to play. It had almost been a year since we played our last game. We have all been going very hard against each other in practice, so it is nice to finally get to play against other opponents than the same people every day,” said DeLorenzo.
As for the team’s safety measures against COVID they do routine tests. Clayton said that the biggest change is not so much on the court but on the bench.
“We no longer sit in a row. We now sit staggered, six feet apart, and have to wear masks.”
DeLorenzo added that the players also wear masks during warm-up and when they are not playing in the game.
The referees also wear masks with their whistles nestled inside.
Shepherd’s next match will be against Indiana University of Pennsylvania on March 9 at 5 p.m. in the Butcher Center.