MURFREESBORO, NC – The Winston-Salem State Lady Rams (9-5, 4-0 CIAA) used a dominant second half effort to record their sixth straight win, defeating the Chowan Lady Hawks (6-7, 1-2 CIAA), 72-47 Thursday evening. After battling through some early struggles, the Lady Rams took control of the game just before halftime and never looked back to extend their winning streak to six games, the most by the team since 2004.
"It was another great win for the program. Six in a row is definitely something that everyone in the program can be proud of," WSSU head women's basketball coach Stephen Joyner, Jr. said following the win. "But again, we've got to quickly put this one out of our minds and get ready for a tough, physical Elizabeth City State on Saturday."
With the win, the Lady Rams improve to 4-0 in conference play and notched their first road conference win of the season. The Lady Rams had a tough time shooting against the tough Hawks defense. As a team, the Lady Rams shot just 35.7% from the field, but matched the Hawks' defensive effort, holding Chowan to shooting just 26.4% from the field at home. WSSU junior guard Jasmine Newkirk led the way for the Lady Rams with 18 points while fellow junior forward LaQuanda Williams added 12 points.
"I think our defensive effort was the key for us tonight. We kept them shooting under 30% in both the first half and the second half," Joyner added. "I think the better we get on the defensive end, then the offensive end is going to carry over for us. We still haven't seen a night where we click on all cylinders so our focus right now is on the defense."
The Lady Rams got off to a great start to the game with and early 6-2 lead, but some struggles midway through the half left WSSU trailing 11-10 with 10:51 left to play. However, the starting unit was able to get back into the game and got things back on track as a Newkirk three-pointer put the Lady Rams back on top, 13-11 with 10:10 left in the first half. With the starters back in the lineup, the Lady Rams cintiued to push, taking a 20-11 lead with just six minutes left in the half.
The second half saw another hot start by the Lady Rams as the team mounted an 12-2 run that gave the team its largest lead of the game, 36-16 with 14:00 left to play. Though the team had the game well in hand, the Lady Rams had to fight off a 10-0 Hawks run that cut the WSSU lead in half, 36-26 with 11:07 left to play. The Hawks continued to surge, cutting the Lady Rams' down to five points, 40-35 eiht just under 8:13 left to play. With the game in jeopardy, WSSU sophomore forward Alisha Hardley snapped the WSSU drought with a lay-up at the 7:32 mark that left the Lady Rams in front, 42-35. The basket sparked a 9-1 WSSU run that put the Lady Rams on top, 51-36 and put the game away for good.
The Lady Rams closed the game on a high note with a late flurry that gave the Lady Rams the 72-47 victory.
With the win, the Lady Rams improve to 4-0 in the CIAA. The team will remain on the road for their next action, taking on the Elizabeth State Vikings in a Saturday match-up. For more information on Lady Rams basketball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-4143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.