WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (7-9, 3-4 CIAA) showed some great promise, but the team could not quite keep up with the #6 Virginia Union Panthers (12-1, 4-0 CIAA), Saturday afternoon. The Rams had some spots of strong play though out the game, but the team also suffered some major struggles that proved costly in the tough loss.
The Rams had a hard time finding an offensive groove in the hard-fought loss. As a team, the Rams struggled, shooting just 27.6% (16-of-58) from the floor in the game. Making matters worse for the Rams were the team's 36 turnovers in the game. WSSU graduate forward Brandi Segars led the way for the Rams with 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds while sophomore guard Melody Prichard added 11 points as well. Those were the only two WSSU players to reach double-digit scoring in the game.
The first half was a difficult one for the Rams, but it included some bright spots for the Rams. The struggles began early for WSSU as the team was held to just one field goal in the first seven minutes of the game and fell into a 16-3 deficit before closing the quarter with a 5-3 run of their own to take a 19-8 score into the second quarter. The second quarter saw a much better effort for the Rams as the team held the Panthers to just 13 points while scoring 10 of their own. After falling behind by as many as 15 points, 23-8, the Rams broke out of their slump with a, 11-2 run that was capped by a three-pointer from sophomore forward O'Shea Hatley with 3:32 left in the second quarter and pulled the Rams to within four points, 23-19. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Rams allowed Virginia Union to close the half with a 29-21 lead.
The second half looked very similar to the first half for the Rams. While the team showed some higher highs, but they also saw some much lower lows on their way to the tough loss. Things looked good for the Rams near the midway point of the third quarter. The Rams went on a 9-2 run to open the quarter and pulled to within a point of the Panthers, 31-30 after a Segars lay-up with 6:02 left in the quarter. From there, the Rams' struggles showed up in a big way as the team allowed the Panther to go on a 22-2 run to close the quarter and left the Rams trailing, 52-32 at the end of the period. The Rams would attempt an answer in the fourth quarter when they outscored the Panthers, 17-9, but the team got no closer than 12 points to end the game with the 61-49 loss.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 7-9 overall and 3-2 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The team will return to action, Monday evening when the team hosts the Elizabeth City State Vikings 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.