WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Lady Rams (3-4) remained perfect at home with a 72-61 win over the West Liberty Hilltoppers (6-4), Saturday afternoon. The Lady Rams had to turn up their defensive efforts to stop a solid shooting Hilltoppers team. The Lady Rams gave a great overall effort in all aspects of the game to pick up the win.
"It's a great day to be a Ram! I can honestly say that we had a great win tonight," WSSU women's basketball head coach Stephen Joyner, Jr. said following the win. "Tonight, I saw what this team is capable of becoming."
The Lady Rams had a great performance in every aspect of the game, shooting 45.3% from the floor and outrebounding West Liberty 42-27. The Lady Rams were especially dominant in the paint, scoring 40 points on the interior. The team also forced 15 turnovers by the Hilltoppers. Three WSSU players reached double-digit scoring in the game with junior guard Jasmine Newkirk leading the way with 18 points in the game. Senior guard Courtney Medley added 13 points while fellow senior center Jordhan Peterson scored 11 points with seven rebounds in the game.
"Our starters stepped it up and we had great production off the bench. If we continue to get better at the little things that don't take talent to do, then we will continue to get better," Joyner added. "This team played five guards, which I thought would be a problem for us on the defensive end, but everybody stepped up".
The Lady Rams found themselves in an early battle with West Liberty jumping out to a 9-2 lead through the first three minutes of the game. However, the team was also to put the defensive clamps on the Hilltoppers and scored 11 unanswered points to take a 13-9 lead with just under 12 minutes left in the first half. With their lead intact, the Lady Rams never let up, pushing their lead to as many as 13 points, 35-22 with just over two minutes left in the half. The Lady Rams would go on to remain in control of the game to take a 35-25 lead into the locker room at the half.
The second half turned out to be more of the same for the Lady Rams with the team mounting an early surge to take their largest lead of the game, 50-32 with just under fifteen minutes left to play. The work was not done for the Lady Rams as the Hilltoppers made a late rally to cut the WSSU lead down to nine points, 61-52 with just over six minutes left to play. However, the Lady Rams would not let their win slip away as the team held on for the 72-61 victory.
With the win, the Lady Rams improve to 3-4 overall and remain a perfect 2-0 at home this season. The team will return to the road to open Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play, Saturday when they head to Richmond, Virginia to take on the Virginia Union Lady Panthers. For more information on Lady Rams basketball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.