CHARLOTTE, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (12-12, 7-8 CIAA) played a solid game, but the team could find no answer for a hot-shooting Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls in a 76-60, Wednesday loss. The Rams gave a strong second half effort, but the team could not catch up the Golden Bulls after a smoking hot first half put the game out of reach for the Rams.
As a team, the Rams gave their usual solid shooting performance at 39.6% (19-of-48) in the game, but the team had to overcome a 43-22 first half deficit. WSSU senior center Kandace Tate led the way for the Rams with a game-high 19 points and 14 rebounds while senior forward Briana Arnold added 14 points.
Things got tough early for the Rams when the team fell into an early deficit and were not able to recover in the half. The Rams' first challenge came midway through the first quarter when the team found themselves trailing, 14-7 with 5:23 left to play. The Rams were able to work their way back into the game with six straight points that were capped by a jumper from freshman guard Nyona Shields that pulled the Rams to within one point, 14-13 with 2:13 left in the quarter. But from there, the quarter belonged to the Golden Bulls who scored 12 straight points and left the Rams trailing, 25-14 at the end of the quarter. The second quarter saw some major struggles from the Rams with the team being outscored 18-8. The Rams fell behind by as many as 23 points during the quarter before taking a 43-22 deficit into the locker room at halftime
The second half saw a much better effort from the Rams as the team outscored their opponents 38-33, but could not pull out the win. The Rams' comeback effort came in the final minutes of the third quarter when the team held the Golden Bulls to one field goal in the final five minutes of the quarter to cut their deficit down to 16 points, 56-40 at the end of the third quarter. The fourth quarter saw the Rams continue their run as the team cut their deficit down to as few as 10 points, 67-57 following a three-pointer from senior guard Tiana Edwards with 2:52 left to play. From there, the Rams would have to turn up their defensive efforts, but they came at the cost of fouls with Johnson C. Smith hitting several clutch free throws to keep the Rams and bay and sent the Rams to their 76-60 loss.
With the loss, the rams fall to 12-12 overall and 7-8 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The loss drops the team to 6-3 in CIAA Southern Division play and into third place by virtue of JCSU's better conference record. The Rams will wrap up the 2017-18 regular season, Saturday when the team hosts the Livingstone Blue Bears in a 2:00 p.m. senior day 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.