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Rams fend off Cavaliers in seesaw MEC battle

Kevin Mays • Jan 12, 2019 at 9:44 PM

WISE — Thomas Lang hit a career high with 36 points Saturday, but the last two he scored made the biggest impact.

Lang sank a jumper inside the lane with 10 seconds left to play to give Shepherd (9-5, 5-3) an 80-79 Mountain East Conference men’s basketball win over Virginia-Wise (5-8, 3-5) at the Prior Convocation Center.

The highly contested game saw 13 ties and 10 lead changes, and neither team ever led by double digits.

ONE MORE SHOT

Virginia-Wise had a chance at the win in the game’s final seconds.

The Cavaliers drove the length of the floor and got the ball to Michal Seals, who put up an 8-foot shot at the buzzer. The shot hit the rim and fell harmlessly to the floor, preserving the win for Shepherd.

“We wanted to try to get it into (Michal) and have him attack the paint before they could get down and set their defense,” said Virginia-Wise coach Blake Mellinger. “He got a pretty good look at it. He got to about 8 feet. It just came up a little short.

“We’ve got to come back in on Monday and go back to work. Things didn’t come out the way we wanted them to tonight and you can’t dwell on it and feel sorry for yourself. You’ve got to turn the page and move on to the next game.”

Seals finished with a near triple-double. The junior had 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.

Jordan Pointer added 14 points for the Cavaliers, Cameron Whiteside 13 and Briggs Parris 10.

Shepherd got 17 points from Derek McKnight to complement Lang’s performance.

WOMEN COLLAPSE LATE

In the women’s game, Virginia-Wise led Shepherd 49-44 after three quarters. Then the Rams (6-8, 3-5) took over.

Led by Marley McLaughlin’s 10-point, fourth-quarter production, Shepherd outscored the Cavs 20-4 in the final period to pull away for a 64-53 win.

McLaughlin led Shepherd’s offense with 22 points, and Sydney Clayton had 15 points and 12 rebounds. Kayla Tibbs finished with 11 points for the Rams.

Virginia-Wise (6-8, 4-4) got 11 points from Kalee Johnson and junior Cynita Webb had a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Webb reached a personal milestone Saturday by surpassing the 500-rebound mark for her career.

ROAD WARRIORS

Virginia-Wise hits the road next week to start a four-game, two-week trip against MEC opponents West Liberty, Wheeling Jesuit, West Virginia State and Concord.

The Cavaliers are back inside the Prior Center on Jan. 30 when they host MEC foe Glenville State.

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