Rams’ balancing act beats Shippensburg

SHEPHERDSTOWN — It seemed like Shippensburg just wouldn’t go away. Shepherd was getting the best of balanced scoring from all five of its starters, but the Red Raiders were only three points behind with about seven minutes to play.

It was then that the Rams decked the red-clad visitors with a 17-1 run that didn’t end until there was just over a minute remaining. The final count had the Rams winning, 90-77, at the Butcher Center.

Shepherd would win for the fourth straight time to move its record to 5-1. With the loss, Shippensburg fell back to 2-4 overall.

When was the last time Shepherd’s leading points producer, Chad Moore, was the team’s fifth-leading scorer in any game that the Rams won? Probably never. But it happened against Shippensburg.

Shepherd’s starters combined to score 83 of the team’s 90 points. And Moore, who was much troubled by fouls and played only 21 minutes, scored 13 points.

It was transfer guard Austin Cunningham’s best scoring game at Shepherd, and he had 19 points — many of which came when made 9-of-12 free throws. Ably supporting Cunningham’s scoring were the 16 points from Brantley Osborne, another 16 from Morgan McDonald (8-of-9 from the field), and 15 from Sidney McCray (4-of-4 free throws).

Tony Ellis paced the Red Raiders with 26 points and Akil Anderson had 12 points. Ellis was 11-for-13 from the field.

The non-conference win saw Shepherd shoot 55 percent (31-for-56) from the field and outrebound the Red Raiders, 30-28.

Cunningham had five of Shepherd’s 22 assists and McDonald had four.

Shepherd held a slender 41-37 halftime lead, but the Red Raiders cooled considerably in the second half from the 62.5 percent they shot in the opening half and could no longer keep pace.

It had been five scorers with at least 13 points that gave the Rams their fourth consecutive win.

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