Third-Seeded Rams' Season Ends With 83-65 Loss to Second Seeded Virginia State

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (14-13) had a great 2017-18 season, but unfortunately, it came to an end when the team took an 83-65 loss to the second-seeded Virginia State Trojans (23-4) in the quarterfinal round of the 2018 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Women's Basketball Championship Tournament. The Rams gave a great effort in the game, but a slow start proved to cost the team too much as they took the hard-fought loss.

There was no shortage of fight for the Rams who gave a strong effort for all 40 minutes of the game. However, the team was not enough to stand up against the fifth-ranked team in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region. As a team, the Rams shot 41.0% (25-of-61) from the floor, but the team was outdone by a Virginia State team that shot 49.2% (29-of-59) from the floor and forced 23 Rams turnovers in the game. WSSU senior guard Tiana Edwards led the way for the Rams with a team-high 19 points while fellow senior forward Briana Arnold added 18 points with nine rebounds. Senior center Kandace Tate finished the game with a team-high 10 rebounds.

The first half was especially tough for the Rams with the Virginia State defense stifling the team for much of the half. Virginia State started the game with a quick start but the Rams soon cut their lead down to a point, 7-6 after a pair of Arnold free throws with 6:43 left in the first quarter. However, the Trojans broke out for a 14-7 run to close the quarter as an Edwards three-pointer and a pair of Arnold field goals were all the team could muster for the remainder of the quarter and gave the team a 21-13 deficit heading into the second quarter. The second was especially tough for the Rams as the Trojans outscored them 25-11. After an Arnold jumper with 3:07 left in the quarter, the Rams were held scoreless with eight unanswered points to the Trojans to fall behind, 46-24 at halftime.

After a wardrobe change in the second half when the Rams changed from their black uniforms to their red uniforms, the Rams came out with a lot fight in the half. The Rams went on a 7-2 run that cut their deficit down to 15 points, 57-42 after a lay-up from senior forward Briana Arnold with 59-44 with 2:43 left in the third quarter. However, the team was never able to get any closer. A late surge from the Trojans also proved costly as the Rams allowed eight unanswered points to fall behind, 67-44 at the end of the third quarter. The fourth quarter turned out to be more of a struggle for the Rams as the team would get no closer than 19 points, 71-52, after a lay-up from sophomore guard Jahlia Williams with 6:59 left to play. From there, the Rams kept trying, but were never able to regain any lead and ended the night and the season with the 83-65 loss.

With the loss, the Rams fall to 14-13. For more information on Rams women's basketball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to