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Rams start lengthy road show

January 06, 2000|By BOB PARASILITI

INWOOD, W.Va. - Looks aren't everything to the Shepherd College women's basketball team.

Thursday's 53-42 victory over Davis & Elkins may have looked like a pug instead of a poodle, but there are no such thing as dog wins any more for the Rams.

cont. from sports page

In fact, any wins Shepherd does get will be kept around for breeding purposes, especially considering the circumstances. The Rams didn't earn a pedigree with the West Virginia Conference victory, but they did everything it took to hold off the Senators to break a five-game losing streak while playing in the unfamiliar surroundings of Musselman High School.

"This was ugly, but I'll take it," Shepherd coach Betsy Blose said. "Hey, guys, it might be like this for the rest of the year. We aren't going to use all of this as an excuse. We are going to try and make the most of the situation. It wasn't pretty, but it was important."

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Considering the circumstances ...

It was Shepherd's second road game since a faulty sprinkler system flooded and ruined the floor at the Butcher Center for the rest of the season. Suddenly, with off-campus practice and home games, the Rams (5-5, 1-2) have more road dates than a Ricky Martin concert tour.

And if practicing and playing at any open gym that will have them isn't enough, the Syria-Israel peace summit in Shepherdstown is limiting what little quality time at home the Rams have.

"We had to leave campus at noon today because we didn't know if we could get out if the President (Bill Clinton) was coming," Blose said. "We spent a couple of hours hanging around Brianne Hamilton's home before coming to the game just to make sure we got out. The kids have a lot to deal with right now."

Yet Davis & Elkins (0-9, 0-6) ended up being the perfect opponent for struggling Shepherd. Even though the home crowd was dotted with a number of Musselman fans who have probably never seen Shepherd play before, the Rams got the job done.

The Rams broke open a 10-10 game with an 18-6 run keyed by six points from Kassandra Kilby and five from Makia Staves off the bench. Toni DeStefano hit four 3-pointers and Stephanie Schwandt did enough work inside to finish with 12 points each to make sure the Rams had enough to put the game away.

"I guess it's an inconvenience," Kilby said. "This was an important win because it helps us look forward. Traveling is what West Virginia Conference basketball is all about."

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