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Rams lighten up, then light up Bluefield State

February 26, 2002|By BOB PARASILITI

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - According to sports lore, teams are an extension of a coach's personality.

If it's true, please welcome the new Shepherd College women's basketball team with the new Betsy Blose.

The Blose reclamation project made its debut on Monday as the Rams adopted a more light-hearted approach to their floor game and celebrated with a 102-75 decimation of Bluefield State in the first round of the West Virginia Conference tournament at the Butcher Center.

Blose scrapped her "nose to the grindstone" style to more of a "Girls just want to have fun" emphasis.

"The attitude was to relax and fun playing today," Blose said. "They had fun ... they were loose. We came out relaxed ... and that has to start with me. I tried not to worry tonight. I'll just have to keep my frustrations to myself."

The easy and breezy third-seeded Rams (19-8) played their best half of basketball of the season in the first half and just cruised into the WVC quarterfinals against No. 11 Concord on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center.

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The changes in attitudes and latitudes were a must for the Rams, who lost their final three games of the regular season. On Monday, Blose turned down the competitive fires just to keep Shepherd from boiling over.

"I told the to go out and play and what's meant to be is meant to be," Blose said. "And especially after three straight losses, including the last one at home. I wanted them to go out and forget about the last one. I know after today, I feel better."

Shepherd's backcourt of Ashley van Norden and Ashana Cowans set the table for the Rams, first by shooting, followed by fancy passes for easy baskets. The passing was catchy as Makia Staves and Brianne Hamilton got into the act with post-to-post passing for equally easy shots.

Shepherd used a 22-3 run, keyed by a pair of 3-pointers by Carrie Kunkel, for a 40-16 lead. The Rams coasted to a 57-27 lead at the half.

The most negative thing to happen to Shepherd was the possible loss to Hamilton. The junior captain fell on a drive to the basket with seven minutes remaining and was taken to Winchester Hospital for a possible broken arm.

Shepherd 102, Bluefield St. 75


BLUEFIELD STATE (75)

Miller 8-18 9-12 31, Brown 1-7 1-2 4, Brewer 5-8 2-2 12, Coleman 2-8 0-0 4, Jones 1-2 0-0 2, Williams 3-6 0-0 9, Repass 3-3 1-2 9, Short 1-2 2-4 4. Totals 24-54 15-22 75.

SHEPHERD (102)

van Norden 5-8 1-1 13, C. Murray 4-10 3-6 11, Hamilton 3-6 3-5 9, Cowans 6-10 4-5 17, Staves 3-5 1-6 7, Siemer 2-3 2-3 6, Kunkel 3-7 0-0 8, Reese 4-6 4-5 12, Stewart 0-1 0-2 0, Westervelt 4-7 7-8 15, D. Murray 1-3 2-4 4. Totals 35-66 27-45 102.

Halftime - Shepherd 57, Bluefield State 27. Three-point goals - Bluefield State 12-27 (Miller 6-12, Williams 3-4, Repass 2-2, Brown 1-4, Coleman 0-4, Brewer 0-1), Shepherd 5-13 (Kunkle 2-3, van Norden 2-5, Cowans 1-3, Reese 0-1).

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