WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Lady Rams (1-0) opened the 2012-13 season in style with a 62-48 win over the Mars Hill Lions (0-2), Monday evening at the C.E. Gaines Center. Not only did the Lady Rams get their first win of the season, but WSSU head A.G. Hall began his head coaching career in a big way, leading the team to its first season-opening victory since 2010. Though the team was impressive in the win, the game showed a lot of room for growth for the Lady Rams.
"I think we're growing. That's the most important thing," WSSU Women's Basketball Head Coach A.G. Hall said following the win. "We started this thing a few months ago and from where we are now, I see growth … We've still got a lot of things to work on offensively and defensively, but we're growing."
The Lady Rams took the win behind a strong overall effort that saw a balanced scoring attack along with a stellar defensive effort in the game. As a team, the Lady Rams held the Lions to shooting just 36.2% from the field and forced 23 turnovers in the game. WSSU senior forward Schatavia Gray led the way for the Lady Rams with a double-double 11 points and 10 rebounds in the game while junior guard Taylar Wells added 10 points off the bench. The two players were the only WSSU players in double-digit scoring, but nine of the 11 WSSU players to take the floor scored, including three players who scored eight points each.
"I think you see us searching for an offensive leader," Hall added. "Right now, it's balanced. We certainly want to move the ball around, but we're still looking for someone that we can count on night in and night out that we can count on to score."
The first half was a tough one for both teams as the momentum swung from one end of the court to the other. After battling back and forth for the first nine minutes of the half, the Lady Rams began to assert themselves midway through the half when the team built a nine-point lead on a 9-0 WSSU run. The Lady Rams remained in control of the game until the late minutes of the half when an MHC three pointer at the 2:40 mark left the Lady Rams trailing 28-26. However, the Lady Rams would not give in as the team continued to battle in the final minutes and trailed just 32-31 at the half.
The second half turned out to be much better for the Lady Rams as the team turned up its defensive efforts to shut down the Lions. For the half, the Lady Rams allowed just 16 points and held Mars Hill to shooting just 17.9% from the field. The Lady Rams gained control of the game for good in the early going when the team opened the half on a 13-3 run that left WSSU in control 45-35 with 13:12 left to play. The Lions would fight back, but the Lady Rams would not let up, pushing their lead to 12 points 59-47 with 2:19 left. In the end, the Lady Rams would cruise, finishing the night with the 62-48 victory.
With the win, the Lady Rams open the season with a win for the first time since 2010. The team will hit the road for their next action as they head to Greeneville, Tennessee to take on the Tusculum Pioneers. 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.