The victory ended a three-game losing streak to the Rams, all from last season with two coming at Fleming Hall.
They still couldn't handle Shepherd star Chad Moore, the 6-5, 220-pound forward from Handley, Va. He finished with 21 points, 16 rebounds, 10 steals, five assists and three blocked shots. However, he also shot just 31.8 percent from the floor, well below his 49.7 percent average. In three games against State last year, he had 44 points, 40 rebounds, 10 blocked shots and seven steals.
He also battled foul trouble for much of the second half, and his attempted tip-in with 38 seconds left resulted in a controversial basket interference call. Two minutes earlier, State's Anton Hutchins was whistled for another controversial call - an intentional foul, giving Shepherd two free throws and possession of the ball with State clinging to an 86-83 advantage.
Each team hit 16-of-23 free throws, but as Shepherd fouled late to regain possession, State couldn't put away the Rams. Kendrick Ward, who had a game-high 10 assists, missed the front end of a one-and-one with 26 seconds left, 12 seconds before Hutchins did the same. That set up Osborne's 3-pointer and Walker's game-winning basket.
State had 24 assists, which is almost 15 more than its season average. Walker had five and Hutchins added three.
Despite the victory, it might not have solved the mystery of the Yellow Jackets putting together back-to-back solid performances.
A 78-59 loss at Davis & Elkins on Dec. 15, was followed by a 105-92 win over Glenville State on Jan. 5. West Virginia Wesleyan defeated the Yellow Jackets on Monday before State defeated the Rams.
"Maybe they're woke up now, I don't know," Poore said. "They have to understand in this league, every night's a war. Sometimes in high school and junior college, you get some gimmes. Maybe they don't understand that. You have to bring it every night. Hopefully they learned that."
He'll find out on Saturday night.
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstev...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4837.