PETERSBURG, VA – The Winston-Salem State Lady Rams (9-5, 3-1 CIAA) couldn't overcome their first half struggles as the team took a hard-fought 72-62 loss to the #21 Virginia State Lady Trojans (11-1, 2-1 CIAA), Thursday evening. Though the Lady Rams staged a furious second half comeback, the effort fell short as the team took its first Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) loss of the season.
After struggling to a 43-29 first half deficit, the Lady Rams mounted a furious second half effort, outscoring the Lady Trojans 33-29. However, the effort was not enough as the Lady Rams ended the evening with their first loss in their last three games. As a team, the Lady Rams finished the game with shooting just 32.1% from the field. The difference in the game definitely came in the paint where the Lady Rams were outrebounded 42-31 in the game. The team did turn in a strong defensive effort, forcing 21 VSU turnovers. WSSU senior guard Jasmine Elum led the way for the Lady Rams with 21 points. Junior forward Dionna Scott added 13 points in the game as well.
After jumping out to a strong start, the Lady Rams' struggles began midway through the half when Virginia State went on a 16-1 run that erased a 10-4 WSSU lead and left the Lady Rams trailing 20-11 with 9:24 left in the half. Down the stretch of the half, the Lady Rams' offense ran into some major struggles as the team went three minutes without a field goal and fell behind the Lady Trojans, 30-23 with 3:48 left in the half. From there, foul troubles plagued the Lady Rams as Virginia State connected on to score 13 points to the WSSU six points to leave the Lady Rams trailing, 43-29 at halftime.
The second half saw a much improved effort by the Lady Rams as the team made an effort to rally for the second straight comeback victory. In the early going, the two teams continued to battle as a free throw by senior forward Amanda Hairston pulled the Lady Rams to within nine points, 39-48 with 13:59 left to play.
It was then that the Lady Rams made their stand as a the team cut its deficit down to just four points, 50-54 with 9:58 left to play. The Lady Rams went on a 16-4 run that gave them their first lead of the half and their first lead since the early first half. The run included two three-pointers each by Elum and junior guard McKenzie Weston. The two evenly matched teams continued their battle until the 6:19 mark when and Elum lay-up gave the Lady Rams a 59-58 lead. The effort capped the WSSU offensive effort as the Lady Rams failed to hit another field goal for the remainder of the game. Three free throws were all that the Lady Rams could muster in the final six minutes of the game while VSU clinched the win with a 14-3 run that sealed the 72-62 loss for the Lady Rams.
With the loss, the Lady Rams fall to 3-1 in CIAA play and 9-5 overall. The team will remain on the road for their next game as they head to Murfreesboro, N.C. to take on the Chowan Hawks. 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.