WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (8-7, 4-2 CIAA) overcame some first half struggles to claim a 78-65 win over the Elizabeth City State Vikings (11-7, 4-4 CIAA), Monday evening. After being held to just five second quarter points, the Rams outscored the Vikings in both the third and fourth quarters to claim the win.
The Rams took the win behind some tough defensive efforts late in the game. The team needed their defensive effort as they shot just 37.8% (31-of-82) from the floor while the Vikings shot 40.0% (22-of-55). WSSU freshman guard Amaya Tucker led the way for the team with 23 points and five rebounds while senior forward Brionna Pate added 22 points and 17 rebounds. Sophomore guard Nyona Shields added 15 points as well.
The first half was a struggle for the Rams as the team was held to just 26 points, including just five second quarter points. Things looked good early for the Rams as the team outscored the Vikings, 21-14 in the first quarter. After opening the game to a 5-5 tie, the Rams broke things open early with an 11-point run that was capped by lay-up from freshman forward Kyree Hall with 5:18 left in the first quarter. The effort left the Rams on top, 16-5 with 5:18 left in the quarter. Though the Vikings would chip away at the WSSU lead, the Rams kept the Vikings at bay and held on to the 21-14 lead at the end of the quarter. The second quarter was the especially tough for the Rams as the team managed just two field goals and a free throw in the quarter. The effort left the Rams trailing, 29-26 at halftime.
The second half belonged to the Rams as the team outscored the Vikings, 23-16 in the third quarter and 29-26 in the fourth quarter. The Rams struck early to tie the game, 33-33 after a lay-up from Pate with 7:11 left in the third quarter. The score came as a part of a 10-2 run by the Rams that gave the team a 41-33 lead after a Daniels three-pointer with 4:15 left in the third quarter. From there, the Rams kept the Vikings at arms' length and took a 49-45 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The Rams pulled away from the Vikings with a big fourth quarter. The team scored 29 fourth quarter points in the game to pull away with the win. The high point of the quarter came when the Rams went ahead, 76-63 after a Tucker three-pointer with 1:10 left to play. From there, the Rams closed out the win with their largest lead, 78-63. After a pair of ECSU free throws in the final seconds sealed the Rams' 78-65 win.
With the win, the Rams improve to 8-7 overall and 4-2 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The Rams will return to action, Saturday when the team heads to Raleigh, N.C. to take on the Saint Augustine's Falcons. 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.