Defense, Balanced Attack Leads Rams to 71-49 Win at Saint Augustine's

 

RALEIGH, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (9-7, 5-2 CIAA) combined a strong defense with a balanced offensive attack to claim a 71-49 road win over the Saint Augustine's Falcons (2-13, 1-7 CIAA), Saturday afternoon. The Rams took the win behind one of the best overall performances of the season and their best road game of the year thus far.

The Rams had a great effort at both ends of the court to claim the victory. The Rams tied their season low for points allowed and held their opponents to shooting just 34.5% (20-of-58), the second lowest field goal percentage allowed this season. In addition to their stellar defensive effort the Rams also had one of their best offensive showings of the season with five players reaching double-digit scoring in the game. WSSU freshman guard Amaya Tucker led the way for the Rams with her first career double-double. She recorded a team-high 14 points with a career-high 11 rebounds in the game. She was joined by senior forward Brionna Pate who added 12 points with nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Teara Johnson came off the bench for 11 points while fellow sophomore Nyona Shields and freshman forward Kinnidy Lawrence both added 10 points each in the game.

Winston-Salem State dominated the game from the very beginning and the team kicked things off with a big first quarter. Tucker opened the game with an impressive start as she personally outscored the Falcons 6-2 to open the game. A Shields three-pointer with 6:36 capped the Rams' dominant start to the game and put the team ahead 9-2. The Rams pushed their lead to double-digits, 18-8 after a Pate jumper with 1:47 left in the quarter before easing off to take an 18-12 lead at the end of the quarter.

The Rams kept things going with strong second quarter of play. The Rams had to work to stay ahead of the Falcons as WSSU allowed Saint Augustine's to cut the WSSU lead down to just three points, 25-22 before closing the half with an eight-point run. The Rams went ahead 33-22 after a Pate free throw in the final seconds of the quarter.

The third quarter was the most competitive for both teams as the Falcons outscored the Rams 17-16 but WSSU would not led their lead or their win slip away. It took a while for the Rams to get going as they allowed the Falcons to chip away at their lead and held on to a 38-33 lead with just over five minutes left in the quarter, but the Rams got things going in a big way as a Shields three-pointer with 3:59 left in the quarter sparked the Rams to a seven-point run that left the team leading 47-37 with 00:42 left in the quarter. From there, the Rams held on and added a pair of Johnson free throws in the final seconds to take a 49-39 lead into the fourth quarter.

With the lead in hand, the Rams turned things up with a big fourth quarter. The team outscored the Falcons, 22-10 in the quarter to pull away with the win. The Rams held the Falcons to just two field goals in the quarter, including a stretch of six minutes without a field goal. The Rams went ahead by as many as 22 points, 67-45 after a Johnson three-pointer with 3:18 left to play. From there, the Rams eased into cruise mode to claim their second straight win, 71-49.

With the win, the Rams improve to 9-7 overall and 5-2 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The team will return to action, Wednesday evening when they host the Shaw Lady Bears in a 5:30 p.m. game. 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.