WEST LIBERTY— Shepherd used its accurate field goal shooting in the first half (making 18-of-32 attempts) to build a double-figure lead against homestanding West Liberty . . . and then refused to allow the Lady Hilltoppers to find any lasting momentum when the Lady Rams grabbed a 71-60 WVIAC women’s basketball win on the road last week.
Shepherd improved to 12-9 overall and had a 9-6 conference record that moved it all the way to fourth place in the league standings. The Lady Hilltoppers continued to slide down in the conference standings and were left with an 11-9 overall mark and an 8-6 league record.
Emily Daniel had 11 first-half points and was helped by the 10 points of Gabby Flinchum and the eight points contributed off the bench by Alex Tamez as the Lady Rams went out to a 41-30 lead at the intermission. Even though it cooled considerably in the second half (scoring only 30 points on 37 percent shooting from the field), Shepherd wasn’t in any imminent danger of losing all its lead because the Lady Hilltoppers also scored only 30 points in the second half.
Hillary Southworth was a one-woman gang for West Liberty as she tossed in 29 points in 12-of-19 from the field, including 4-of-9 from three-point range. Her accuracy far outpaced teammate Kayla Ayers, who was just 6-for-20 (30 percent) while adding 17 points. Ayers was 3-for-11 from long range.
Shepherd shattered the Lady Hilltoppers on the boards, outebounding them, 46-30, as Daniel claimed seven rebounds, Flinchum seven more, Tamez six more, Morgan Johnson five, and Katie Biggs five.
Both teams were 14-for-19 from the foul line.
Shepherd moved ahead, 53-31, with 14:18 remaining and never had its lead move any lower than 59-53 (with 3:23 left to play) after that.
Daniel would finish with a team-high 18 points while Flinchum added her 14 points. Jenn Prine chipped in her 10 points as did Tamez.