AIKEN, SC – The points proved to be hard to come by for the Winston-Salem State Rams (2-4) in a 79-56 road loss to the USC-Aiken Pacers (3-2), Wednesday afternoon. The Rams gave a solid effort throughout the game, but the team was stifled by some tough Pacer defense in the hard-fought loss.
The Rams' offensive struggles stifled the team's effort to get into the game. As a team, the Rams shot 30.6% (19-of-62) in the loss while allowing the Pacers to shoot 43.8% (28-of-64). WSSU senior guard Tiana Edwards led the way for the Rams with 14 points while freshman guard Nyona Shields came off the bench for a career-high 10 points. Senior center Kandace Tate and junior forward Brionna Pate both pulled in seven rebounds to lead the way for the WSSU rebounding effort.
The first half of the game saw a solid overall effort for the Rams. In the first quarter, the Rams got off to a slow start, but the team was able to get back into the game with a solid effort late in the quarter. The Rams began the quarter by falling into an 12-2 deficit in the quarter, but the team stormed back in a big way. The team closed the quarter with a 10-3 run that included five points from Shields. The effort letr the Rams within two points of the Pacers, 15-12, at the end of the quarter.
In the second quarter, the Rams had another tremendous effort. Early in the quarter, Edwards led a strong comeback effort by the Rams. The run gave the team its first lead of the game, 19-17 after a jumper from Edwards. With 6:14 left in the quarter. After USC-Aiken tied the game, Edwards would keep the Rams ahead when she connected on a three-pointer with 2:04 left in the quarter that left WSSU on top, 24-21. However, the Rams' offensive struggles would soon kick in as the three-pointer was the Rams' last field goal of the half as the team took a 25-25 tie into the locker room at halftime.
The second half turned out to be a hard one for the Rams as the team was outscored a combined 54-31 in the final two quarters. Early in the third quarter, the Rams were able to keep up with the Pacers as a jumper from senior forward Briana Arnold gave the Rams a 30-29 lead with 8:14 left in the quarter. The Rams fell victim to a 17-2 run by the Pacers to fall behind, 46-32 with 3:33 left in the quarter. From there, the Rams continued to struggle for the remainder of the quarter and took a 57-41 deficit into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Rams made an effort to get back into the game, but the team could get no closer than 13 points, 66-53 after a Pate free throw with 4:08 left to play. The final minutes were especially tough for the Rams as a Pate lay-up with 2:17 left to play was the final field goal of the game for the Rams who ended the day with the 79-56 loss.
The loss leaves the Rams with a 2-4 overall record. The team will return to action, Sunday when the team returns to the road to take on Converse College in a 3:00 p.m. 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.