WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Lady Rams (8-6, 3-1 CIAA) picked up their third straight win the hard way when the team took a hard-fought 46-42 win over the Virginia State Lady Trojans (7-7, 0-4 CIAA), Thursday evening. The win was the third straight Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) win and improved the team to 4-1 at home. The Lady Rams overcame numerous adversities as well as a tough Virginia State Lady Trojans team that made the game a battle for all 40 minutes.
The Lady Rams took the win behind a strong defensive effort, holding the Lady Trojans to just 42 points in the game. The team forced 20 VSU turnovers in the game as well. Offensively, the Lady Rams had a solid game of their own, shooting 35.9% from the floor. WSSU junior Taylar Wells led the way for the team with a game-high 13 points in the game. Sophomore forward Dionna Scott added 11 points. Sophomore forward Somalia McKenney led the WSSU rebounding effort with seven rebounds.
The game was tough battle early with both teams struggling to make baskets. Through the first six minutes of the game, the Lady Rams and Lady Trojans battled to a 4-4 tie with four baskets over the span. It was a Scott three-pointer at the 10:54 mark that got things going for the team and gave the Lady Rams a 7-4 lead. The team would hold the lead until the 7:16 mark when VSU would take a 12-11 lead on a jumper. The two teams kept the battle going in the final minutes until the Lady Rams broke the game open with an 8-4 run that left the Lady Rams on top, 20-15 with 2:21 left. From there, the Lady Rams held off VSU to take a 20-18 lead into the locker room at the half.
Things got going early for the Lady Rams as the team went on another 8-4 run to stay on top, 28-22 with 15:27 left in the game. However, the run came at a cost as junior guard Keyrra Gillespie went down with a knee injury at the 17:17 mark. Though challenged, the Lady Rams found a way to pull out the win. Virginia State would take its first lead of the second half at the 10:41 mark when the Lady Trojans jumped out to a 29-28 lead. However, the Lady Rams would not relent as the team battled its way to a 38-34 lead with 6:08 left to play.
The game's final minutes turned out to be especially exciting as the Lady Rams held on to a tenuous 42-40 lead with 1:35 left to play. After VSU was able to cut the WSSU lead down to just one point, 43-42 with 00:35, Scott hit a clutch free throw at the 00:27 mark that left the Lady Rams on top 44-42. On the very next possession, WSSU sophomore forward Raven Fields got clutch steal with four seconds left and sealed the win. The Lady Rams would cap the win with a pair of Wells free throws that left the score 46-42 and gave the Lady Rams the win.
With the win, the Lady Rams improve to 3-1 in CIAA play. The team will look to keep things going when they host the Chowan Lady Hawks in a Saturday afternoon game. For more information on Lady Rams basketball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.