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Shepherd men make it look hard

January 25, 2002

Shepherd men make it look hard



By DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Just five minutes into Shepherd College's West Virginia Conference game with Bluefield State on Thursday, everyone in the Butcher Center knew Shepherd's game plan - get the ball inside to Ryan Jones.

Jones scored a game-high 25 points - 15 in the first half - helping the Rams take a 30-14 lead in the first 12 minutes en route to an 84-74 victory that wasn't that close.

"The whole key was to get the ball in the high post," Shepherd coach Ken Tyler said. "When we did, good things happened."

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The man in the post, more often than not, was Jones. He outscored Bluefield State by himself, 12-11, in the first seven minutes on the way to an 11-for-15 night from the floor, most coming within five feet of the basket.

Demond Tapscott added 20 points despite a 6-for-17 struggle from the floor, making 5 of 6 foul shots in the last five minutes.

Shepherd (6-9, 4-5) took a 46-34 lead into the locker room at halftime, then had to withstand a pair of Bluefield State rallies in the second half.

Cory Love scored six of the first eight points in the half - finishing with 23 - as Bluefield State (2-13, 1-7) cut the lead to five twice, the second time at 51-46 with 12:55 left. The Rams then went on a 20-7 run to open a 71-53 lead with 4:23 left.

But Bluefield State's desperation full court press over the final four minutes gave Shepherd fits down the stretch. The Rams were outscored, 21-13, in those final minutes.

"Up 19 with four to play, we should have coasted home," Tyler said. "Instead, we struggled home. We lost our focus and intensity on both ends of the floor."

Keith Davis had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Rams, who took 19 fewer field goal attempts than Bluefield State, but made 28 of 40 foul shots compared to Bluefield State's 9 of 15.

BLUEFIELD STATE (74)

Redd 1-2 0-0 2, Clements 5-16 5-5 16, Martin 1-3 0-0 2, Farr 3-9 0-0 6, Love 11-16 1-5 23, Ball 0-3 0-0 0, Martin 4-15 2-2 11, Patterson 0-0 0-0 0, Blount 5-7 1-2 11, Pannell 1-4 0-1 3, Williams 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 31-78 9-15 74.

SHEPHERD COLLEGE (84)

Tapscott 6-17 7-8 20, Stewart 1-5 1-2 4, Jones 9-10 7-10 25, Davis 5-8 4-6 14, Newsome 1-3 5-7 7, Rheinhardt 1-2 0-0 2, Layton 2-8 3-5 7, Talley 2-3 1-2 5, Slaninka 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 0-2 0-0 0, Fanjoy 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-59 28-40 84.

Halftime - Bluefield State 34, Shepherd 46. Three-point goals - Bluefield State 3-19 (Redd 0-1, Clements 1-4, Farr 0-1, Ball 0-3, Martin 1-4, Pannell 1-3, Williams 0-3), Shepherd 2-10 (Tapscott 1-5, Stewart 1-2, Layton 0-2, Johnson 0-1).

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