Second half lead fades in Shepherd loss

WHEELING — Shepherd’s unbeaten WVIAC record is no more after the Rams fell, 97-92, to homestanding Wheeling Jesuit last Thursday. Conversely, the conference win was the first of the season for the Cardinals.

The Rams were 3-1 in the WVIAC and 6-2 overall while having their five-game win streak stopped on the road. Wheeling Jesuit was 1-3 in conference games and moved to 3-4 overall.

Wheeling Jesuit made 50 percent (33-of-66) of its field goal attempts, including 10-of-25 (40 percent) of its three-point tries. Shepherd was 28-for-69 (40 percent) from the field, went 11-for-33 (33 percent) from three-point range, and made an impressive 25-of-29 free throws (86 percent).

Justin Fritts (22 points) Darin Harris (17 points off the bench), and Recardo Gaddy (16 points) paced the Cardinal scorers.

Shepherd had four men in double figures led by Austin Cunningham’s 20 polints. Also scoring in double figures were Chad Moore (18 points), Morgan McDonald (16 points), and Brantley Osborne (14 points) as they followed Cunningham in the scoring column.

Wheeling Jesuit led 44-40 at the half, but Shepherd assumed short leads throughout much of the second half.

There were six lead changes and seven ties in the second half.

Wheeling Jesuit grabbed a 90-89 lead with just under four minutes remaining and never trailed again.

Shepherd won’t play again until a Jan. 3 conference date at Pitt-Johnstown.

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