CHARLESTON – The heart and desire was there for the West Virginia Wesleyan Lady Bobcats against the Shepherd Rams in the opening-round of the Mountain East Conference Tournament today at the Charleston Civic Center.
Wesleyan led at the half by a 37-30 score and had a chance to win it at the end of the game, but came up just short in a 68-65 decision.
Head coach Vicky Bullett played without three of her top four scorers and her top free throw shooter in the game. All four were out with injuries.
"The effort was there, but when you have 16 on the roster and we dress eight today it makes it difficult," remarked Bullett. "But we have played with full effort the entire season. Today was no different."
Shepherd had a 14-11 lead after six minutes of action, but Tara Goldman made a jumper and Susan Meyer worked her way inside for a lay-up to give the Lady Bobcats their first lead, at 15-14, with 2:31 left in the first quarter.
A Mykenzie Martin three-pointer capped a 7-0 run for the Lady 'Cats treating them to an 18-14 lead.
Wesleyan took an 18-16 lead into the second quarter.
A Brittney Allen jumper gave Wesleyan a seven-point lead at the 4:21 mark, at 31-24.
A Stacy Remer jumper with 23 seconds remaining in the half gave Wesleyan their 37-30 advantage at the intermission.
The game turned at the start of the third quarter when Shepherd went on a 10-0 run for a 40-37 advantage.
Goldman made a 12-footer to return the lead to Wesleyan at 43-42, with 5:29 remaining in the third quarter.
Shepherd outscored Wesleyan in the final five minutes of the quarter by a 12-7 margin to take a 54-50 lead heading into the final quarter.
A Goldman jumper started the fourth quarter to trim the Wesleyan deficit to 54-52.
Down 56-52, Martin unleashed another three-pointer to bring Wesleyan to within one, at 56-55, with 6:15 remaining in the game.
Shepherd outscored Wesleyan by an 8-4 margin to take a 64-59 lead with 2:40 remaining.
Remer turned in four-point play when she drained a three-pointer and was fouled on the play.
She made the free throw to bring Wesleyan to within one again, at 64-63, with 53 seconds left.
Cara Mason made a lay-up for Shepherd to make it a 66-63 game, but Martin calmly downed two three throws with 27 seconds remaining to make it a 66-65 contest.
Following a Wesleyan foul, Mason made just one of two at the line giving Shepherd a 67-65 lead.
Martin drove the lane with two seconds left in an attempt to tie the game, but her lay-up came up short.
Shepherd's Morgan Arden made a free throw with one second left to wrap up the scoring.
Goldman and Remer each had double-doubles for Wesleyan.
Goldman had a game-high 19 points and a game-high 11 rebounds while Remer had 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Martin added 12 points while Nicole Gilyard (pictured) had 11.
Wesleyan shot 35.3 percent from the floor making good on 24 of their 68 field goal attempts.
The Lady Bobcats outrebounded Shepherd by a 43-40 margin.
Wesleyan ended their year with a 6-20 mark.
Shepherd improved to 15-16 and will now play Wheeling Jesuit tomorrow at noon in the quarter-finals.