SHEPHERDSTOWN — With Alex Tamaz having her best half of the season, Shepherd made the last five minutes of the opening half against Seton Hill so meaningful that it scored 20 points and broke away from a 29-29 tie to lead 49-34 by the intermission.
And that was just the tip of the Shepherd spear.
The Lady Rams outscored Coach Ferne Labati’s Griffins by another seven points in the second half to achieve a satisfying 81-59 victory in the WVIAC women’s game.
There had been no indicators that would have been precursors to Shepherd’s excellence in the first half’s closing five minutes.
Neither defense had caused much trouble for the other side.
Seton Hill had stayed competitive with its perfect free throw shooting. Shepherd was helped by Alex Weakland’s quick start, on-target shooting from Rachel Johnson, and especially Tamaz’s scoring and floor generalship.
But it was just a 29-29 game.
Until the last five minutes, when the Lady Rams literally took ownership of the night.
Scoring 20 points to Seton Hill’s five, the Lady Rams had blitzed the Griffins with the all-round play of Tamaz, Johnson, Jimyse Brown, Priscilla Moseh . . . and a last seconds layup from Emily Daniel. In a little over two minutes, the Shepherd lead went from 38-32 to 49-34.
Seton Hill came to the Butcher Center with a 10-5 overall record and 7-2 WVIAC showing. It had done some things against other conference teams, so it was still dangerous.
That danger became more obvious when the Griffins scored the first six points of the last half.
But after that, the Lady Rams held. After six minutes, they had restored all but one point of their halftime lead.
And then the scoring flood began.
In the next few minutes, Shepherd had sprinted away to a 75-49 lead.
Foul-troubled Gabby Flinchum scored inside, Johnson renewed her inside scoring, Brown was also working inside. Everything was inside.
The Shepherd steals and blocked shots were quickly reaching double figures in number.
Even with nearly all of its six-player bench chasing down the Griffins, Shepherd stayed in front by over 20 points and played out the win that elevated its conference record to 5-5 and its overall mark to 6-8.
Seton Hill had faced five minutes of first-half devastation. And the game had been virtually settled.