WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (7-7, 3-2 CIAA) gave a great effort, but it was not enough as the team took a 77-72 loss to the Chowan Hawks (9-6, 5-1 CIAA), Saturday afternoon. The loss came in spite of a tremendous individual performance by the Rams' freshman guard Amaya Tucker.
The Rams took the loss in spite of a terrific offensive night. However, it was not enough to keep up with the Hawks in spite of holding them to 43.5% (27-of-62) from the floor. Winston-Salem State freshman guard Amaya Tucker led the way for the Rams with a career-high 34 points in the game. However, she was the only WSSU player to reach double-digit scoring in the game. Freshman forward Kyree hall and senior forward Brionna Pate both pulled in five rebounds each to lead the team's rebounding effort.
Things looks good early for the Rams as the team controlled the first quarter, but the Rams' struggles began in the second quarter and carried over into the second half. The Rams dominated the first quarter, outscoring the Hawks 24-14. The two teams had a competitive start to the game when they played to a 7-7 tie before a Tucker three-pointer with 5:32 left to play sparked a 12-2 run that was capped by a Tucker lay-up with 3:10 left to play. The effort left the Rams on top, 19-9. From there, the Rams held on for the 24-14 lead at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter looked a lot different as the Rams were outscored 25-17. The Rams held the Hawks at bay, 28-18 after a jumper from freshman forward Kinnidy Lawrence with 6:47 left in the second quarter, the Rams allowed the Hawks to go on an 8-1 run and pulled to within three points, 29-26 with 4:02 left in the quarter. Though the Rams allowed the Hawks to tie the game, 33-33 with 2:03 left to play, the Rams outscored the Hawks 8-6 to take a 41-39 lead into the locker room at halftime. It was a pair of Tucker free throws that proved to be critical as they gave the Rams a 41-37 lead with 00:41 left in the quarter. The Rams allowed one more lay-up by the Hawks to take a 41-39 lead in77-72 to the locker room at halftime.
The third quarter was especially tough for the Rams as the team scored just 12 points. The beginning of the quarter was especially tough as the Rams were held scoreless and outscored 11-0 before a Tucker jumper with 6:08 left in the quarter. The score left the rams trailing, 50-45. The score was followed by a lay-up from sophomore guard Teara Johnson that cut the WSSU deficit down to just three points, 50-47 with 5:17 left in the quarter. However, the Rams would get no closer and went into the fourth quarter trailing, 59-53.
Things got a lot better for the Rams in the fourth quarter as they outscored the Hawks 19-18. However, the team didn't do enough to claim the win. The Rams got the quarter started with a three-pointer from sophomore guard Nyona Shields with 9:55 left to play, but the Rams allowed five unanswered points to the Hawks to fall behind, 64-56 with 8:51 left to play. Once again, the Rams fell behind the Hawks, 69-60, the Rams began to make a strong comeback in the final five minutes of the game. The Rams went on a seven-point run that was capped by and Shields lay-up with 2:50 left to play and left the team trailing, 69-67. In the final minutes of the game, Chowan hit some clutch free throws to pull away from the Rams, 73-67 with 00:46 left to play. The Rams got a jumper from Pate and three-pointer from Tucker in the final minute, but some clutch free throws by the Hawks held the Rams at bay and sealed the 77-72 loss by the Rams.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 7-7 and 3-2 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The Rams will return to action, Monday evening when the team hosts the Elizabeth City State Vikings. 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.