AIKEN, SC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (6-7) started 2020 on a down note when the team took a 75-55 road loss to the USC-Aiken Pacers (6-5), Wednesday afternoon. The Rams put on a solid effort, but the team struggled to get their offense in gear against the tough Pacer defense in the loss.
Making shots turned out to be tough for the Rams in the road loss. As a team, the Rams shot just 29.5% (23-of-78) in the loss. The team did a good job taking care of the ball with just 12 turnovers in the game. For the second straight game, WSSU sophomore guard Melody Prichard led the way for the Rams with a team-high 11 points in the game. Sophomore guard Amaya Tucker made her return from an injury to add 10 points for the Rams. Junior guard Teara Johnson showed no fear of the paint as she led the Rams with six rebounds.
Things looked good early for the Rams, but the team wore down as the game went on. The first quarter was a solid one for the Rams as they held the Pacers within striking distance. After falling behind early, 4-9, the Rams cut their deficit down to just a point, 10-9 after a jumper from Prichard with 4:44 left in the quarter. However, in the final minutes of the quarter, the Rams allowed the Pacers to pull away, 20-13 later in the half before a Tucker three-pointer pulled the Rams to within four points to end the quarter trailing, 20-16.
The second quarter looked similar for the Rams as the team once again allowed the Pacers to get a strong start before beginning a comeback midway through the quarter. The Rams opened the quarter by allowing five unanswered points to the Pacers and fell behind, 25-16 before sophomore O'Shea Hatley scored five straight points of her own to cut the WSSU deficit down to just four points, 25-21 with 6:11 left in the second quarter. Unfortunately, as with the first quarter, the Rams once again struggled in the final minutes of the quarter and allowed the Pacers to take a 41-30 lead at halftime.
The Rams opened the second half with their best quarter of the game. In the third quarter, the Rams outscored the Pacers, 20-17. For the third time in the game, the Rams allowed the Pacers to jump out to a strong start, but the team bounced back in a big way to end the quarter. After falling behind, 54-32 near the midpoint of the quarter, the Rams made a big push late to close the period. The Rams went on a 13-1 run to cut their deficit down to just 10 points, 55-45 after a lay-up by senior guard Taylor Daniels with 1:17 left in the quarter. In the final minute of the quarter, the Rams outscored the Pacers 5-3 to end the quarter trailing, 58-50.
The fourth quarter was not as good for the Rams as the team closed the game by being outscored, 17-5 to end the day with the 75-55 loss. For the quarter, the Rams hit just two field goals and a free throw to end the game with the 75-55 loss.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 6-7. The team won't have long to relax, however, as they will head to Bowie, Maryland to take on the Bowie State Bulldogs in a non-conference 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