Second Half Rally Leads Shepherd Past Concord Women - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Second Half Rally Leads Shepherd Past Concord Women

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The Concord University women's basketball team was unable to hold onto an eight-point halftime lead Saturday afternoon, as Shepherd University came back to defeat Concord, 81-74, in West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference competition.

Concord (6-17, 5-12 WVIAC) was led by four players in double figures including sophomore forward Jacqueline Kestner who recorded a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.  Junior guard Amanda Smith and sophomore guard Stephanie Wagner were CU's top-two scorers with 16 and 15 points apiece.

Junior center Sammi Webster finished with 12 points and a career-high nine rebounds, coming just one rebound shy of her first double-double. Senior guards Katy Somerville and Tanisha Williams rounded out CU's top scorers with nine points each.

For the first time this season, five different Mountain Lions tallied at least two steals.

Both schools shot exceedingly well from the free throw line. Concord connected on 83.3 percent (20-for-24) of its shots only to be topped by Shepherd's 89.7 percent (26-for-29).

CU shot 38.3 percent from the field (23-for-60) and forced 15 Shepherd turnovers. The Rams (11-11, 10-8 WVIAC) made 43.5 percent (27-for-62) of its field goals while creating 12 Concord turnovers. Shepherd also held the rebounding edge over Concord, 46-30.

The Mountain Lions dominated the first five minutes play, jumping out to a 14-4 lead with a balanced scoring attack that saw all five starters score at least two points and Concord make six of its first nine shots. The Mountain Lions' lead grew to as many as 14 points, when Webster made a layup that put the Maroon and Gray ahead 22-8 at the 11:54 mark in the half.

Webster was a force early on with eight points, five rebounds and two steals in the first nine minutes of the opening half.

Shepherd got Concord's lead to under 10 points with an 8-0 run that made it a four-point game, 26-22, before eventually tying the game at 32-32 with 2:23 left in the period.

Concord responded by closing out the half on an 8-0 run of its own to take a 40-32 lead into the break. The run was sparked by four consecutive free throws from Wagner and basket by Artrip with two seconds left on the clock.

However, the first six minutes of the second half proved fatal to Concord's chances of winning as the Rams outscored the Mountain Lions 12-2 over the time frame to take a 44-42 lead that they wouldn't give up for the remainder of the contest. Shepherd pushed its lead to as many as 14 points before Concord ended the game on a 14-7 run.

Rachel Johnson scored a game-high 17 points to lead the Rams.

Concord will play four of its final five games of the season at home starting with a 5:30 p.m. meeting with Davis & Elkins on Feb. 11.