WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (0-1) opened the 2017-18 season with a hard-fought 82-65 loss to the Shepherd Rams (1-0), Saturday afternoon. The short-handed Rams had a tough time stopping a hard-charging Shepherd offense in the game.
As a team, the Rams struggled to keep up with Shepherd. The Rams allowed Shepherd to shoot a hot 47.5% (28-of-59) from the floor while shooting 31.3% (21-of-67) from the floor in the game. The Rams did see some impressive individual performances with senior center Kandace Tate leading the way with 14 points and five rebounds in the game while fellow senior guard Tiana Edwards and junior forward Brionna Pate both added 12 points each in the game. Freshman forward Lenzi Brown led the Rams' rebounding efforts with eight rebounds in the game.
The Rams hung tough with a solid first quarter of play, but the team faded late in the second quarter. Things started slowly for the Rams with Shepherd going ahead, 11-5 with 5:56 left in the quarter, but the Rams chipped away at the Shepherd lead to tie the game 13-13 after a jumper from freshman guard Nyona Shields with 2:22 left in the quarter. Shepherd answered with a three-pointer to leave WSSU trailing, 16-13 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter saw another strong effort by WSSU, but the team faded late in the quarter. Shepherd pushed their lead to five points 18-13, but WSSU soon answered, cutting the lead down to just one point after a Tate lay-up with 6:20 left in the quarter. WSSU would manage to keep Shepherd within a field goal until the final minutes when Shepherd pulled away for a 34-28 hafltime lead.
Things got tougher for the Rams in the second half, but the team never gave in, especially with a solid third quarter of play. A pair of Edwards free throws capped a great comeback effort by the Rams, pulling the team to within three points, 41-38 with 6:55 left in the quarter. Though Shepherd pushed their way back into an eight point lead, the Rams worked their way back into the game as a pair of Shields free throws capped a run by WSSU that pulled the team to within three points 50-47 once again with 3:27 left in the quarter. From there, things got tough for WSSU as the team was outscored 12-3 and were left trailing, 62-50 at the end of the quarter.
The fourth quarter was a tough one for Winston-Salem State. The Rams fell behind by as many as 20 points, 72-52, but the team never gave in as they fought to claw their way back into the game. However, the Rams could not get any closer, finishing the game with the 82-65 loss
With the loss, the Rams fall to 0-1 on the season. The Rams will return to action, tomorrow when the team closes out the Conference Challenge with a 3:00 game against Pitt-Johnstown. For more information on Rams women's basketball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.