ETTRICK, VA – The Winston-Salem State University Rams (4-7, 0-2 CIAA) gave the defending Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) champion Lady Trojans (6-6, 2-2 CIAA) all they could handle, but the team fell just short in a 48-44 road loss, Thursday evening. The Rams gave it their all much of the game, but some third quarter struggles proved too much for the team to overcome in their second straight conference loss.
The loss came in spite of a strong defensive effort by the Rams as they held the Lady Trojans to just 48 points in the game and held the Lady Trojans to shooting just 28.0% from the floor at home. However, the Rams managed just 44 points and shot just 30.8% from the floor as well in the loss. WSSU junior forward Jasmine Carter led the way for the Rams as she nearly recorded a double-double for the second straight game with 12 points and seven rebounds in the game. WSSU sophomore center Kandace Tate added 10 points with five rebounds and a pair of blocks in the game. Junior forward Sha'Quira Palmer added nine rebounds as well in the game.
In the early going, it was the Rams who controlled the game as the team took a 13-9 first quarter lead. After allowing a four-point run by the Lady Trojans, the Rams took control of the quarter with an 11-2 run that included back-to-back Carter jumpers. Tate added a pair of baskets in the final minute to keep the Rams on top, including a tip-in and a lay-up at the buzzer to leave WSSU on top, 13-9.
The Rams remained in control of the game in the second quarter despite being outscored 13-10 during the period. After allowing the Lady Trojans to cut their lead down to one point, 13-12 with 8:10 left in the half, the Rams answered with a short 4-2 spurt that included a Carter jumper and a Palmer lay-up. The Rams would go up by as many as five points, 23-18 after a lay-up from junior forward Jeri Craine with 1:11 left in the half. Unfortunately, the Rams allowed four unanswered points by the Lady Trojans, including a layup at the buzzer that cut the WSSU lead down to one point, 23-22 at halftime.
The third quarter was especially tough for the Rams as the team managed just seven points during the period. A lay-up from redshirt-sophomore forward Jatzmin Johnson and a lay-up from junior guard Taelor Mandeville were the only field goals that the Rams could muster during the half and ended the half trailing, 30-34.
Though trailing for the first time since the early minutes of the game, the Rams would not give in as they fought for every point in the fourth quarter. The Rams would open the half with some stellar defense and some timely shooting when a Craine jumper at the 6:47 mark tied the game, 34-34. Unfortunately, the Rams would never regain the lead, however, as Virginia State hit a three-pointer that sparked an 11-4 run that left the Rams trailing, 45-38 with 2:05 left to play.
Things looked tough for the Rams, but the team never relented as they kept the gam within reach when back-to-back lay-ups from Tate and Carter pulled the Rams to within three points, 45-42 with 00:51 left. In the final minute of play, the Rams could only muster a pair of free throws and fell victim to some clutch free throw shooting by the Lady Trojans that ended the evening with the 48-44 WSSU loss.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 4-7 for the season and 0-2 in CIAA play. The team will remain on the road for their next competition as they will head to Murfreesboro, N.C. to take on the Chowan Hawks in a Saturday afternoon 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.