WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Lady Rams (9-6, 4-1 CIAA) took a hard-fought 51-35 win over the Chowan Lady Hawks (1-12, 1-4 CIAA), Saturday afternoon at the C.E. Gaines Center. The Lady Rams took the win behind a big second half effort that saw the team allow just 13 points to the Lady Hawks.
After taking a 22-21 deficit into the locker room at the half, the Lady Rams bounced back for a big second half that saw the team outscore the Lady Hawks, 30-13 to take the victory. As a team, the Lady Rams struggled offensively, shooting just 29.7% from the floor, but the team was impressive defensively, forcing 29 Chowan turnovers and holding the Lady Hawks to shooting 31.7% from the floor. WSSU junior guard Tareka Cesar led the way for the Lady Rams with 13 points in the game. Sophomore forward Somalia McKenney nearly pulled out a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds in the game.
The first half turned out to be a real battle as both teams played solid defense and made points hard to come by. It was all Chowan in the early going as Winston-Salem State fell into a 4-8 deficit at the 14:19 mark, but the Lady Rams would not relent with six straight points to tie the game, 8-8 with 11:59 left to play. The two teams continued to battle for the remainder of the half and traded leads and ties until the final minutes of the half when a Chowan three-pointer with six seconds left sent the Lady Rams into the locker room trailing, 22-21 at the half.
Things were much different in the second half when the Lady Rams scored nine unanswered points and held the Lady Hawks scoreless for the first seven minutes of the half to take a 30-22 mark on a lay-up by junior guard Taylar Wells at the 12:41 mark. From there, the Lady Rams continued to dominate, pushing their lead to as many as 18 points, 47-29 after a 17-8 run. With the lead well in hand, the Lady Rams kept up the defensive pressure, holding Chowan scoreless for the final three minutes of the game and taking the 51-35 win.
The Lady Rams will return to action, Monday evening when the team hosts the Elizabeth City State Lady Vikings. 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.