Shippensburg University’s men’s basketball team held the conference’s leader in three-pointers to just 4-of-19 (21%) from long range and 33% shooting overall Wednesday, defeating Shepherd, 66-59, in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division game at Heiges Field House.
How it Happened
Shippensburg (21-6, 17-4 PSAC) held its opponent under 60 points for the fifth time this season to triumph on Senior Night and snap a two-game losing skid. Shepherd (13-14, 9-12) out-rebounded the Raiders by one and scored 19 second-chance points, but managed just one three-pointer in the first half and shot 31% in the second half.
“The emphasis this week was to get back to what we do well, and what’s made us successful all these years,” head coach Chris Fite said. “Our emphasis on defense and the energy that we play with (is key), and I thought the guys played really hard tonight.”
The Raiders shot 36%, including 33% (8-of-24) from three-point range. They committed just eight turnovers and were 12-of-15 (80 percent) at the free-throw line.
“Things didn’t go as smoothly as we would have liked offensively, but we ground it out and we got stops when we needed them,” Fite said. “We made things difficult for them tonight.”
Inside the Box Score
Shippensburg’s four seniors: John Castello (Mars, Pa./Mars Area), Daylon Carter (Pittsburgh, Pa./Ambridge), Derek Ford (Camp Hill, Pa./Cedar Cliff) and Lamar Talley (Camden, N.J./Abraham Lincoln), earned starts alongside junior Jake Biss (Latrobe, Pa./Greater Latrobe). In addition to his customary strong defense, Talley finished with 11 points, five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and zero turnovers.
Sophomore Luke Nedrow (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic (Marist)) led the Raiders with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting, and had six rebounds. Nedrow was 4-of-5 from the field in the second half. Castello missed time in the first half after being hit in the head and the second half due to foul trouble. He still totaled seven points and eight rebounds. Biss scored 12 points, while Ford hit a corner three-pointer in the opening five minutes.
Shepherd, battling for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Division, got a double-double from Jon Preston (21 points, 11 rebounds) and an 18-point effort from Kyle Daggett. The Raiders defense held Thomas Lang, the nation’s leader in three-pointers (104), scoreless. Lang was 0-for-6 from the field in 29 minutes.
In the Coach’s Words
“Lamar is one of the best defenders in the country,” Fite said. “He showed that tonight. Every night we put him on the opposing team’s best scorer, and he has shut down multiple big scorers. He makes it tough on them.”
Shippensburg, ranked fourth in the Atlantic Region earlier in the day, finished the home portion of its regular-season schedule with an 11-4 record at Heiges Field House.
“All of our seniors have been tremendous,” Fite said. “I’m really happy for them to get this win on Senior Night to get us back on track. I’m hoping that we have a lot more games together, but I appreciate all those guys very much.”
Shippensburg concludes the regular season at 3 p.m. Saturday at Kutztown. The Raiders will then host a PSAC Quarterfinal at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Heiges Field House.
Photos by Bill Smith/ Shippensburg University
Bill Morgal is sports information director at Shippensburg University.