Ariel Goddot doesn’t get a lot of playing time for Shepherd University’s men’s basketball team, so when coach Justin Namolik put him into last Saturday’s game against Kutztown University at Butcher Center in Shepherdstown, it was all about his hustle and muscle.
Especially on the defensive end of the floor.
Goddot played just 10 minutes in the Rams’ 82-73 win over the Golden Bears, but his impact on the team’s play was quite evident. Goddot wasn’t afraid to go up against some of the taller players on Kutztown’s team. In fact, he thrived on it.
Goddot finished the game with nine rebounds and two blocks. Seven of his rebounds were at the defensive end of the floor. His moves to the hoop to grab a rebound, or snatch the ball away from a Kutztown player trying to grab an offensive rebound, were undisputed.
Surprisingly, none of his moves resulted in any fouls called against him.
“I’ve been working hard in practice every day,” Goddot said after last Saturday’s win. “I just had to be ready to come into a game at any time. I wanted to get ready for my chance. In this game, I got it.”
Goddot was assigned to defend against the weak side of Kutztown’s offense, shutting off any chances of the Golden Bears to try and make a back-door play against the Rams (11-9). Not much got past Goddot when he was on the floor. His weak-side coverage, and his passion for the game on the court, impressed Namolik.
“We talked about this over the past two or three weeks with our reserves—to be ready for your opportunity to go into the game at any time,” Namolik said. “I’m not surprised Ariel got his chance in this game. He did such a great job out there on the floor.”
Jon Preston led the Rams in scoring in the win over Kutztown. He had 23 points with 10 rebounds. Phillip Jordan had 18 points with five assists for the Rams. Dan McClain-Corley had 10 points with four assists for Shepherd. Jarrod Robinson had five rebounds for Shepherd. Carson Poffenberger had three assists for the Rams.
Last Saturday’s win over Kutztown was the 200th career win for Namolik, now in his 14th season as Shepherd’s men’s basketball coach.
“That’s just a number,” Namolik said of this milestone. “I’ve got a lot of losses too, but I think the important thing to remember is the tremendous outpouring of support I’ve received from this school and this administration.”
Last Saturday’s win snapped a two-game losing streak by Shepherd. The Rams’ lost a one-point heart-breaker at West Chester on Monday, Jan. 23, 70-69, then lost by two at Shippensburg two days later, 68-66.
Nineteen games into the season and the Lady Rams remain winless. Their most recent loss was an embarrassing, 63-30, loss at home to Kutztown last Saturday.
Shepherd’s other losses last week were at West Chester (94-47) and at Shippensburg, 92-52. Of late, the Lady Rams’ overall play has been nightmarish.
“It’s really frustrating because I thought we were making some good strides,” Shepherd coach Julie Kaufman said last Saturday. “We just didn’t show up for this game.”
Kaufman said just making an appearance on the court does not guarantee a win. “You can’t just show up and expect to win,” she said. “We played better in the second half of this game but we didn’t execute like we need to, we didn’t make shots, we just didn’t buy into it [this game].”
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