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Yves has day as Shepherd sweeps pair

February 03, 2006|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - The first half of Shepherd University's basketball double feature was a triple feature all its own.

The first 20 minutes of the Rams men's game was "Running Scared" followed by the first run of "Danger Zone" and "Yves of Destruction."

Shepherd battled from 13 points down with 13 minutes to go by using a 25-3 run - keyed by an aggressive halfcourt zone defense and 16 points by Yves Moliva - Thursday to rally for an 83-71 West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over Ohio Valley at the Butcher Center.

It was the prelude to a 90-59 victory by the Shepherd women over Ohio Valley in the nightcap.

"It was the tale of two halves," Shepherd men's coach Ken Tyler said. "I was disappointed in how we played in the first half. We talked about having great defensive intensity and we didn't have it. I'm glad about how we (fixed it)."

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Shepherd (11-10, 6-6) allowed a 31-21 lead to evaporate in the final 7:30 of the first half to fall behind 46-37 at the intermission. It only got worse at the beginning of the second half as Ohio Valley (5-14, 2-8) pushed out to a 60-47 lead, powering to the inside with Marlon Pierre and Mercersburg Academy graduate Chris Leborious.

From there, Shepherd turned to the 2-3 zone and Moliva started to attack the basket by slashing to the inside, causing fouls and foul shooting opportunities. The Rams rattled off the decisive comeback run over the next 7:04 as Moliva's scoring spree included 10 foul shots and a slam dunk.

On the other end, the Rams wore down Ohio Valley, causing numerous turnovers and short shots to only aid in the jailbreak comeback.

"The zone defense was the key," Tyler said. "We moved and were aggressive in it. At one point, our stats had us for 12 stops in a row. ... That has to be a record.

"We felt we had a mismatch with Yves at the high post. We have been talking to him about hitting the rim hard instead of flicking the ball. That was obviously the decisive point of the game."

Ohio Valley got to within 72-67, but Shepherd pulled away down the stretch.

Moliva scored 17 of his game-high 24 in the second half while Chad Myers added 15 off the bench. Stephen Cambrius had 18 to lead Ohio Valley, while Leborious finished with 10 points and three rebounds off the bench.

Shepherd's women needed to remember their golden rule to rule over the Fighting Scots.

"I think we were kind of flat. Our defense wasn't our best at the beginning of the game," Shepherd coach Jodie Runner said. "We focused on our defense at halftime. We gave up 37 points in the first half. Our goal is to keep the opposing team to 65 and under."

The Rams (12-8, 8-4) flickered with defense in the first half, enough to grab a halftime lead and then screwed it on tight in the last 20 minutes, allowing Ohio Valley just 22 points after opening the second half with an 18-2 run in the first 8:30.

"It was a little of everything for us," Runner said. "It was good defense and getting out and running. That makes offense easy. In the first half, they were driving and scoring on us. We focused on containing that in the second half."

The first half was an offensive free-for-all with Ohio Valley (9-10, 5-5) taking an early 18-13 lead. The Rams showed the first signs of defense at the 15:15 mark, starting a 12-2 run over a 4-minute span to get a 25-20 advantage. Laura Harkins and LaToya Fisher worked on the inside with four points each to give the Rams their foothold.

A quick 9-0 burst in the late stages of the first half put the Rams ahead 36-25 and turned the game into a run to the finish, despite rough defense in the first half.

Shepherd's defense forced steals and short shots to open the second half, allowing the Rams to pull out to a 66-38 lead and coast home.

Laura Harkins had 15 points off the bench in her first game back from an injury to lead five Shepherd scorers in double figures. Fisher had six points, but pulled down 14 rebounds. No Ohio Valley player reached double figures.

"Laura had missed the last two games and was rarin' to go," Runner said. "She's a threat on the court cause she's so tough to guard. People know us as a halfcourt team. Coming into this season, we have been trying to transition out. We'll play either way and I'm fortunate to have a team that is comfortable to play either way."

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