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Shepherd women build perfect Tech-nique

January 19, 2001

Shepherd women build perfect Tech-nique



By BOB PARASILITI / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

Shepherd over TechSHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - The Shepherd College women's basketball team seems to always find itself on the defensive.

The Rams aren't making any excuses ... they know the their offensive game leaves a lot to be desired. But their defense, that's another thing. That's become something everyone else desires.

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Shepherd gave another display of why it could be considered the Baltimore Ravens of the West Virginia Conference. Who needs offense when you can use defense to wear down an opponent and pound out a 72-50 victory, as the Rams did against West Virginia University-Tech on Thursday at the Butcher Center.

Defense first isn't a formula Shepherd coach Betsy Blose is comfortable with, but it's something the Rams have accepted until a suitable offensive game appears. Thursday's ploy was to start three freshmen - guards Ashley van Norden and Ashana Cowans along with mainstay Cassie Murray - to generate something, anything offensively.

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"We went to Ashanta and Ashley to get more quickness on defense," Blose said, stating a painful reality. "We have to because we are not getting it done offensively. we aren't shooting the ball well, we aren't shooting the 3 well and we are turning the ball over too much. We need to do better offensively."

Shepherd (12-4, 8-1) has the WVC lead despite just 66.7 points per game. The Rams are ranked No. 8 in the NCAA Division II East rankings even after another typical night offensively: hitting only 32.9 percent of their shots (26 of 79), including 4-for-11 from 3-point range.

But defense, there was no excuses. Shepherd held WVU-Tech seven points under its league-leading defensive average by holding the Golden Bears to 28 percent shooting. The Rams enhanced the defensive numbers by outrebounding Tech 61-37, a category that Shepherd is ranked No. 11 in the nation.

Still, Blose looked for offense. She took her two captains - Stephanie Schwandt and Barb Oller - out of the starting lineup and played without Kassandra Kilby, a third starter who missed her third straight game because of personal reasons. What Shepherd lacked in offense, they gained in speed and enthusiasm.

"That's what (Blose) likes. She likes our intensity," said Cowans, who led the Rams with 11 points. "She has a lot of confidence in (the freshmen)."

Shepherd's switched up lineup jumped out to an 8-0 lead but allowed Tech to score six straight, forcing Blose to call time. Jennifer Westervelt came off the bench to give the Rams a jolt, scoring five of her nine points in a 16-1 run over a 7-minute, 20-second span to give Shepherd a 24-7 lead in never relinquished.

No one scored more than five points for Shepherd in the first half as it built a 38-19 lead. Every player scored for Shepherd, but only Cowans was in double figures, and no one played more than 25 minutes. Missy Cook scored 17 for Tech (3-9, 3-4).

"We got to find the right mix," Blose said. "This team has something about them. Their potential is unlimited. We are going to compete for a championship."

Shepherd 72, WVU-Tech 50



WEST VIRGINIA UNIV.-TECH (50)

McClung 0-3 0-0 0, Dydland 1-7 5-6 8, Hammond 1-4 3-8 5, Gilchrist 0-6 0-0 0, Cook 6-18 5-6 17, Johnson 2-6 0-0 4, Young 3-6 3-3 9, Weikle 3-6 1-1 7. Totals 16-56 17-24 50.

SHEPHERD COLLEGE (72)

van Norden 2-6 2-2 7, Siemer 2-6 1-2 5, Murray 3-8 2-4 9, Cowans 3-14 4-6 11, Staves 3-5 0-0 6, Oller 2-5 0-0 4, Windle 1-7 1-2 3, Reese 1-5 3-4 5, Hamilton 2-6 2-4 6, Schwandt 1-3 0-0 2, Caple 1-3 0-0 2, Chaney 1-4 0-0 2, Westervelt 4-7 1-3 9. Totals 26-79 16-27 72.

Halftime - Shepherd 38, WVU-Tech 19. Three-point baskets - WVU-Tech 1-8 (Dydland 1-2, Weikle 0-2, Johhnson 0-2, McClung 0-1, Gilchrist 0-1), Shepherd 4-11 (van Norden 1-2, Murray 1-2, Ollefr 1-3, Cowans 1-4). Rebounds - WVU-Tech 37 (Cook 12), Shepherd 61 (Siemer, Murray 7).

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