Shippensburg edges Shepherd in see-saw men’s basketball game 

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Waynesboro's Cooper Hough goes to the basket during first-half action against Shippensburg. LEE GOODWIN/LOCAL.NEWS

SHIPPENSBURG —The Shippensburg University men’s basketball team went on a 9-0 run late in the second half to tilt a see-saw Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) battle against Shepherd in the Raiders’ favor Wednesday evening at Heiges Field House, 68-66.

In a game that saw 20 lead changes, Shippensburg (12-7, 10-3 PSAC) rose to the occasion on both ends of the court inside the final two minutes to turn a five-point deficit, 61-56, into a four-point Raider edge, 65-61. Senior Carlos Carter (Indiana,/Indiana) and redshirt-senior Rashon Johnson (Philadelphia/Simon Gratz (Highland C.C.)) powered the Raiders with 13 points apiece in the second half.

Shepherd (10-9, 7-6 PSAC) hung around thanks to an outstanding shooting effort from Daniel McClain-Corley, who finished with a game-high 22 points. The Ram guard showed a penchant for answering any Raider run with a timely three, converting 4-of-8 from three-point range for the game.

The Rams led the hosts 28-26 after a slow-paced, low-scoring first half.

The Raiders, coming off a cold shooting performance in a loss at Millersville Monday, looked like it was more of the same after the first 20 minutes. But that changed with the insertion of freshman guard Trey Martin (Boiling Springs/Boiling Springs) off the bench in the second half.

Martin provided a lift on both ends of the court, scoring all of his career-high seven points after halftime, in addition to some hard-nosed defense.

A shifty drive to the basket from the freshman put a Shepherd defender on his rear end, which cleared the way for a left-handed finish to give the Raiders the lead, 41-40, with 13 minutes left, and a Martin three stretched the Ship lead to four points soon after.

McClain-Corley stepped up for the visitors, scoring seven straight to once again tie the score, then bombing a three to put the Rams up three, 59-56, with 3:14 remaining.

Desperate for a stop, the Raiders went into a full-court press. The result was several key steals from Carter and graduate student Dom Sleva (McKees Rocks/Montour) that led to points, with the latter leading to a Carter triple that gave the Raiders a 62-61 lead with 1:24 left.

Johnson added a three following a Sleva block to stretch the Ship advantage to four, 65-61, with 46 seconds remaining.

The Rams kept fighting until the final seconds ticked off the clock, making it a one-point game with 15 seconds left, but the Raiders were able to hold on for the victory.

Carter ended the night with 19 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Johnson added 17 points, and Sleva contributed a team-high 11 boards.

Jon Preston and Aiden Hughley added 15 apiece for the Rams.

The Raiders return to action Saturday with a road matchup against the Lock Haven Bald Eagles. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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