INSTITUTE, WVA – The Winston-Salem State Rams (1-1) got their offense into gear in a big way when the team to an 89-78 road win over the West Virginia State Yellowjackets (0-2) to close out the Holiday Inn Conference Challenge, Sunday afternoon. After struggling to score yesterday, the Rams bounced back with 89 points in today's win.
As a team, the Rams had a breakout offensive effort in the game. The Rams shot 43.0% (34-of-79) from the floor in the game. WSSU redshirt-senior forward Brandi Segars led the way with a double-double 26 points and 17 rebounds in the game. Senior guard Jahlia Williams added 15 points in the game as well. The Rams outscored the Yellowjackets in three of the four quarters played in the game.
The Rams got the game started with a dominating performance for much of the first quarter. After keeping things close early in the game, the Rams broke the game open when a Segars lay-up with 00:59 left in the first quarter left the Rams on top, 16-5. However, the team allowed six unanswered points in the final minute to end the quarter with a 16-11 lead.
In the second quarter, the Rams and Yellowjackets had another competitive period of play with the Rams once again coming out ahead. The early portion of the quarter belonged to the Yellowjackets with the Rams allowing the Yellowjackets to cut the WSSU lead down to just one point, 16-15, before sophomore guard Kyree Hall hit a lay-up to get things going and kept WSSU on top, 18-15 with 9:29 left in the quarter. The Rams would hold the Yellowjackets at bay, but the team allowed their opponents to come to within a point of tying the game multiple times before a late surge put the Rams. The largest WSSU lead of the quarter came with just over a minute left in the half when Williams hit a lay-up to give the Rams a 33-26 lead. From there, the Rams went on to maintain their lead and took a 35-28 lead into the locker room at halftime
The third quarter was the only quarter in which the Rams were outscored, but the team would not relinquish their lead. This time, it was the Rams who came out with the ho scoring effort as they pushed their lead to as many as 12 points, 40-28 after a Segars lay-up in the first minute of the quarter. Near the quarter's midway point, the Rams allowed the Yellowjackets to cut the WSSU lead to single digits, but the Rams answered in a big way and pushed their lead back to 12 points, 63-51 with 2:23 left in the quarter. It was then that the Rams allowed the Yellowjackets to go on a big run late in the quarter. In the end, the Rams finished the quarter with a 66-62 lead.
The final quarter was a battle for the two teams, but in the end, the Rams came out on top. After allowing the Yellowjackets to take their only lead of the game, 67-66 in the first minute of play. The Rams kicked things up a notch in a big way. Junior guard Teara Johnson hit a three-pointer near the midpoint of the quarter that capped a 15-9 run and gave the Rams an 81-71 lead with 4:53 left to play. The Rams held on to their 10-point lead until the final minutes of the game when the Yellowjackets mounted a furious comeback effort in the final minutes. The WSSU lead was cut down to just five points, 83-78 with 1:25 left to play, but, in the end, the Rams hit some key free throws and were able to hold on to claim the 89-78 win.
With the win, the Rams improve to 1-1 to open the 2019-20 season. The team will return to action, Tuesday evening when they host the Converse Valkyries in a 5:30 pm 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.