Rams Defense Keys 74-62 Win Over Bluefield State at Red & White Classic

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (2-5) used a physical defensive effort to claim a 74-62 win over the Bluefield State Big Blues (3-5), Saturday afternoon. The Rams put on one of their best defensive performances of the season as the team held the Big Blues to shooting just 34.0% (16-of-47) from the floor.

In addition to their great defensive effort, the Rams' offense was solid as well for a great overall performance. The Rams held the Big Blues to making just 16 field goals for the entire game. Offensively, the Rams shot 41.2% (28-of-68) from the floor. WSSU senior forward Brionna Pate led the team with 21 points in the game. Freshman guard Amaya Tucker added 16 points while freshman forward Dajha Williams added a team-high eight rebounds.

The Rams took control of the game with a big first half effort. The team held the Big Blues to just two field goals in the first four minutes of the game to take an 11-2 early lead in the game. The team allowed five unanswered points to allow their opponents back into the game as their lead was cut down to four points, 11-7, before scoring six straight points to go ahead, 17-7 after a pair of free throws from junior forward Laichelle Sparrow. Once again, Bluefield State made another run, but sophomore guard Teara Johnson hit a jumper in the final seconds to end the quarter with a 19-11 lead.

Early in the second quarter, it was Bluefield State who came out with the strong effort and cut the WSSU lead down to five points, 19-14, before a WSSU 15-3 run was capped by a three-pointer from sophomore guard Nyona Shields with 3:08 left in the quarter. The effort left the Rams on top, 34-18 Frpm there, the Rams would hold the Big Blues at bay to take a 40-25 lead into the locker room at halftime.

It was in the third quarter when the Rams really took things over as they scored 22 points in the period. The team took its biggest lead of the game on a jumper from Pate with 6:25 left in the quarter to go ahead, 52-31. From there, the Rams went into a cruise mode, but not too much as they never allowed their lead to slip to less than double digits. At the end of the third quarter, the Rams held a 62-43 lead.

The fourth quarter saw the Rams slow down offensively, but the team did not slow down defensively. The Rams scored just 12 fourth quarter points while allowing 19 –points to the Big Blues. However, the team still held on for the 74-62 win.

With the win, the Rams improve to 2-5. The team will return to action next Saturday when they host the USC-Aiken Pacers at 2:00 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.