SHEPHERDSTOWN — Even though it had a lead throughout the game against conference foe Davis & Elkins, there was a palpable sense of uneasiness about Shepherd’s slight advantage.
Too many starters were being removed with two first-half fouls. And only Jimyse Brown was contributing much among the reserves that constantly replaced starters Alex Weakland, Emily Daniel, Gabby Flinchum, and Rachel Johnson.
Shallow minutes with no points or rebounds were racked up be the reserves.
Yet, the Lady Rams had short leads to protect. Nothing about the eight-point halftime lead felt safe.
It was more of the same in the second half. Shepherd players with three fouls would be removed. Reserves would not contribute. And Davis & Elkins found itself even before moving ahead by a point in the last stages. A first-seen, 2-3 halfcourt zone protected the new lead . . . and the Lady Senators made away with a 73-70 WVIAC win that pushed Shepherd’s overall record to 2-4 and 1-2 in the league, the same mark as Davis & Elkins showed after its first conference win.
In the opening half, Shepherd’s Rachel Johnson was having her best game of the season and the Lady Rams damaged the Senators inside with Brown, Flinchum, and Daniel.
But as the second-half clock wore down, the fouls whistled against Shepherd kept it from finding any offensive or defensive rhythm with its flock of reserves always present.
Shepherd’s foul troubles allowed the Senators to shoot 30 free throws (and make 20), while the Lady Rams were only 9-for-16 (56 percent) on their free throws.
And the Lady Rams were outrebounded by five and had eight shots blocked.
The game-long uneasy feeling was real enough.
Shepherd was caught at the end. It was passed at the end. And it lost at the end.