SHEPHERDSTOWN, WVA – The Winston-Salem State Rams (0-1) gave a great effort, but the team fell short late in a 70-59 loss to the Shepherd Rams (1-0) at the Conference Challenge. The Rams led through three quarters, but the team fell short late in their season-opening loss.
The Rams took the loss in spite of an efficient offensive performance, but the team struggled to stop a hot-shooting home Shepherd team. As a team, the Rams shot a solid 39.4% (26-of-66), but the team struggled to stop Shepherd which shot 47.4% (27-of-57) in the game. WSSU sophomore guard Teara Johnson led the Rams' offensive effort with a team-high 13 points in the game. Freshman forward Kinnidy Lawrence added 11 points with eight rebounds in the game. Freshman guard Amaya Tucker made her career debut with 11 points off the bench as well.
The first quarter was the best one for the Rams as the team opened the game with a great effort. The team's most impressive effort came in a 6-2 run that left the Rams on top, 14-6 with 1:34 left in the quarter. From there, the Rams took their lead to nine points 17-8 at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter saw another great effort by the Rams who held on to their lead heading into halftime. A lay-up from junior guard Taylor Daniels kept the Rams on top by 10 points, 25-15 with 4:54 left in the quarter. However, the Rams struggled in the final minutes of the quarter as the team added just two more points in the final minutes of the quarter and allowed Shepherd to cut the WSSU lead down to just two points, 29-27 after a Johnson layup in the final seconds left the Rams on top heading into the locker room.
The third quarter turned out to be a dramatic one with momentum going to both ends of the court for the two teams. The Rams saw their lead disappear early in the quarter and fell behind, 31-33 before freshman guard Kyree Hall hit a lay-up at the 5:49 mark to tie the game, 33-33. The Rams would once again regain the lead when a Lawrence lay-up with 3:28 left in the quarter gave the Rams a 40-45 lead. However, in the final minutes of the quarter, the Rams saw their lead whittled down to a single point as Shepherd hit a lay-up in the final two seconds of the quarter. With the effort, WSSU ended the quarter clinging to a 45-44 lead.
In the fourth quarter, the Rams continued to battle, but the team ran out of gas as they allowed 26 points to Shepherd. Things remained close early as a Lawrence free throw with 6:59 left tied the game 50-50. It was then that things got tough for the Rams as the team allowed an 11-point run by Shepherd before a lay-up from senior guard Taylor Daniels left the Rams trailing, 52-61 with 3:08 left to play. In the final minutes, WSSU allowed Shepherd to pull away as the team fell behind by as many as 12 points, 55-67. WSSU make an effort in the final minute of play, but in the end, the team ended the day with the 70-59 loss.
With the loss, the Rams open the 2018-19 season with an 0-1 record. The team will return to action, tomorrow when they take on the Pitt-Johnstown Mountain Cats in the Conference Challenge. For more information on Winston-Salem State University women's basketball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.