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Shank delivers in time for Rams

February 15, 2005|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Danley Shank enjoyed one of those games for all time.

In fact, Shank had a game for any time - that is, if Shepherd University had a clock.

The do-all junior forward was the man of the hour for the Rams with a timeless game in a timeless game by scoring a game-high 31 points - including the 1,000th point in his career - Monday to lift Shepherd to a 90-76 victory over West Virginia Wesleyan in a West Virginia Conference game at the Butcher Athletic Center.

You could almost say Shank's play made time stand still, especially since the Butcher Center's three scoreboards and 35-second clocks were dark because of a wiring problem. The game was timed at the scorer's table using intramural equipment.

But Shank's timing was perfect, showing a game which was reminiscent of days gone by.

"Danley is the most well-rounded player in the conference," Shepherd coach Ken Tyler said. "He does it all. He can shoot the 3, play the post, shoot the mid-ranged jumper and finish using either hand. Not many players can do that any more. He's a throwback player."

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The Chambersburg (Pa.) High School graduate put the Bobcats (3-19, 3-11) on watch as he used his entire arsenal to help Shepherd establish a healthy lead early, which allowed it to survive some sloppy play late.

Shank got his night started with a steal and a dunk at the 16:23 mark - according to Shepherd's play-by-play sheets - to give the Rams a 6-2 lead. It started a 25-8 run with Shank scoring eight of the points on an assortment of power moves and short jumpers.

The 31-10 lead was the Rams' largest of the game. Then Shepherd went into a game of "Beat the Clock" per se.

West Virginia Wesleyan moved back to 38-28 with 3 minutes left in the half, keyed by Lynell Ingram and Jelani Watson. But Shank scored on an alley-oop slam and Darren Stackhouse's work on the inside gave the Rams (11-13, 9-6) a closing 8-2 run for a 46-30 lead at the intermission.

"I thought Danley played a fantastic game," Tyler said. "Sometimes it got a little sloppy. I told them that we could get practically any look we wanted on the first pass. There were times we kind of played down to their level. But, that's four in a row . . . so I'm pleased with the win."

Shepherd counted the seconds with its lead, hovering around with a 14-point bulge for most of the second half. Shank hit four straight points to give Shepherd a 51-36 lead with 18:21 remaining.

The Rams maintained their lead, ironically, as time stood still. Shepherd mastered the foul line in the second half, hitting 23 of 27 chances in the final 20 minutes and 31 of 36 overall to ice the game.

Shank hit a 3-pointer with somewhere around 6:00 remaining, giving him 29 points for the night to reach the 1,000-point plateau. He ended the game with 1,002 for his career, which included just eight points in his freshman season.

When it was over, Shepherd maintained its seventh-place standing to keep its chances for a home game for the first-round of the WVC Tournament alive. The Rams did it by placing five players in double figures, with Stackhouse following Shank in the order with 14 points. Guard Yves Moliva topped Shepherd with 13 rebounds.

Watson led Wesleyan with 23 points, while Ingram added 16.

"We have to polish things up for what lies ahead," Tyler said. "But I'm not jaded to the point where I can't look a gift win in the mouth."

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