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Siemer's big night leads Shepherd

January 25, 2002

Siemer's big night leads Shepherd



By DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Rams reserve forward Gail Siemer found her offense Thursday, while the Bluefield State offense left the Butcher Center still looking for its own.

Siemer, averaging 5.8 points per game prior to Thursday, went 7-for-7 in the first half and finished with 22 points and eight rebounds.

At the other end, Shepherd held Bluefield State without a field goal for a 10-minute stretch in the first half on the way to an 81-53 victory in the West Virginia Conference.

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"Gail Siemer's an All-honorable mention conference player, and she's been hurt," Rams coach Betsy Blose said. "She can score, she can get on the boards, and we need her."

Bluefield State (5-12, 2-6) controlled the offensive glass early, staying within one of Shepherd, 11-10, in the first four minutes.

"That's Bluefield's strength ... they take pride in rebounding, and we didn't stop them at first," Blose said.

But the Rams (12-5, 7-2) closed that door thereafter - outrebounding Bluefield State 50-31 for the game. Forced mostly to the perimeter, Bluefield State shot 30.2 percent from the floor, making just 16 of 53 shots.

Siemer scored 15 points in the first half, most of them coming on layups and putbacks in close. She showed her range in the second half, making three baseline jumpers, all from about 16 feet.

"They encourage me to take that shot and practice it," Siemer said. "I felt comfortable with it. It was clicking."

Shepherd took a 60-36 lead with 9:25 to play, but Bluefield State pestered the Rams down the stretch, cutting the lead to 68-49 with 4:27 left and forcing Blose to call a time out.

"I called a TO up 19 ... I didn't feel comfortable," Blose said. "Bluefield's a scrappy team, and we were complacent."

Ashana Cowans scored 12 points, while Makia Staves added 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Rams.

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