BLUEFIELD — Bluefield outscored Shepherd, 21-8, from the free throw line and dealt the Rams a critical loss on Saturday at the Shott gym. The Big Blues had only one win in their 17 previous games, but went 21-for-27 from the line (as compared with Shepherd’s meager 8-for-13 showing) to defeat the visiting Rams, 92-83, in a WVIAC men’s game.
The Big Blues were also able to go 29-for-56 (52 percent) from the field while making 13-of-29 (45 percent) of their three-point attempts.
The uptempo pace provided by Shepherd’s fullcourt pressure defense gave both teams plenty of scoring chances in the first half where the Big Blues took a 50-46 lead into the dressing room at the intermission.
All five Bluefield starters scored in double figures, led by Roy Cooper’s 25 points. Joseph Dawkins added 17 points, Avery Holliday another 15 points, Samuel Ouedraogo had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Treon Claiborne tossed in 11 more points.
Even though it was 19-for-38 (50 percent) from the field in the first half, the Rams trailed by four points.
Chad Moore scored 25 points on 11-for-16 from the floor. But he was in foul trouble and finished with four personals. Moore added four steals and seven rebounds to the Shepherd totals.
Brantley Osborne had 18 points, but connected on only 3-of-11 three-point attempts. Morgan McDonald was like Moore and in foul trouble, but he played well in his 32 minutes with 14 rebounds and 12 points. He was 6-for-10 from the field.
The Rams were only 7-for-30 (23 percent) from three-point range. Bluefield had only nine turnovers against the Shepherd pressure.
Shepherd dipped to 11-6 overall and was left with an 8-5 WVIAC mark. The Big Blues were 2-16 overall and 2-12 in the conference standings.