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Shepherd women continue WVC roll

January 15, 1999

Shepherd vs. WVTechBy BOB PARASILITI / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. -The Shepherd College women's basketball team have been living off "bread and butter" alone.

On Thursday, the Rams decided to take advantage of a full menu.

[cont. from sports page]

Shepherd put more than just its mainstay man-to-man defense, putting more pressure on the table to starch West Virginia University-Tech 76-45 in a West Virginia Conference game at the Butcher Center.

Shepherd (9-5, 6-1) carved up Tech for its fifth straight victory and seventh in the last eight games to suddenly become one of the dangerous teams in the WVC.

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"We are still a man team," Shepherd coach Betsy Blose said. "That's still our bread and butter. But we tried to mix up our defenses on them."

It worked. The Rams used a halfcourt trap and fullcourt man to jump start a sluggish first-half offense and a 39-27 halftime lead.

But little did Blose or the Rams know that a sluggish offense was all they would need to roll past the Golden Bears (1-10, 1-5).

Shepherd held Tech without a basket for a 12-minute, 31-second stretch starting with the final two minutes of the first half. In fact, the Golden Bears hit only two baskets in the final 22 minutes of play, going 2-for-18 from the floor in the second half.

"That's pretty good," Blose said with a wry smile, admitting she didn't realize how tight the defense became.

"I don't know if it was our defense as much as it was that they couldn't finish plays."

The roll started early. Tech battled back from an early eight-point deficit to climb within 16-14 with 10:32 remaining in the half.

Shepherd came out of the break in stride with a 19-5 run keyed by steals and easy baskets.

"We got more intense," said Kasandra Kilby, who gave Shepherd a boost off the bench. "We didn't play our best. The score was close but then we turned it up a notch. We got after it more in the second half."

Between Shepherd's defense and a herd of fouls, Tech never got close to the basket in the second half. The Golden Bears missed their first seven shots of the second half, until Sam Banks hit a 3-point basket with 9:21 left in the game. By then, Shepherd owned a 54-36 lead.

The pressure allowed the Rams to get all its players involved in the game with diversity in the scoring column.

"Tonight, we got contributions off the bench from everyone," Blose said. "That's it ... it's all about team. That's a big positive coming off the bench."

Every Shepherd player scored, led by Jennifer Westervelt's 16 on mostly power moves under the basket. Jennifer Chapman was the only other Shepherd player in double figures with 13 as the Rams forced 24 turnovers.

The only thing that kept Tech in the game was 13 of 20 foul shooting in the second half.

"We preach defense," Blose said. "I don't like all the fouling, but we are going to play man and we are going to pressure, so we will foul some. We have a lot of different looks that come off the strengths and weaknesss of each player."

Its only other basket in the last 22 minutes came on a Patricia Bartram follow with 1:24 remaining.

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