GREENSBORO, NC – A tough defensive effort was not enough for the Winston-Salem State Lady Rams (1-3) as the team took a hard-fought 56-43 loss to the North Carolina A&T Lady Aggies (3-2), Sunday afternoon. Though the Lady Rams were able to play some tough defense throughout the game, the Lady Rams could not generate enough effort to keep up with their NCAA Division I foes.
As a team, the Lady Rams struggled mightily on offense when the team shot 25% from the field, connecting on just 14-of-56 field goals in the game. The first half was especially troubling for the Lady Rams as the team managed just three field goals in the half. The team had a solid defensive effort that disrupted the Lady Aggies' offense for stretches; the team could not take advantage of their defensive efforts as the shots would not fall for the Lady Rams. As a team, the Lady Rams forced 19 Lady Aggie turnovers. WSSU sophomore forward Somalia McKenney led the way for the Lady Rams with eight points while junior guard Keyrra Gillespie added a team-high seven rebounds.
Though the offensive struggles started early for the Lady Rams, the team fell into an early 8-0 deficit over the first four minutes of play. A pair of free throws by junior guard Taylar Wells broke the scoring seal for the Lady Rams and a Gillespie lay-up at the 15:43 mark cut the WSSU deficit in half 8-4. The WSSU defense would step up its efforts, holding North Carolina A&T to just two scores over the next four minutes, but the Lady Rams' offense would shut down as well as the Lady Rams fell into a 13-7 deficit at the 8:40 mark. Down the stretch of the half, the Lady Rams would continue to struggle on offense while the Lady Aggies slowly pulled away, leaving the Lady Rams trailing 24-11 at halftime.
The early second half looked similar to the early first half as North Carolina A&T held WSSU scoreless for the first seven minutes of the half while scoring eight unanswered points and leaving the Lady Rams trailing 32-11 with 13:28 left in the game. After falling behind by as many as 24 points at the 6:01 mark, the Lady Rams sprung to life with a furious late run that cut their final deficit down to just 13 points. After hitting just three field goals in the first half, the Lady Rams connected on four in the final five minutes of the game. The team also connected on seven free throws during the spell as well.
With the loss, the Lady Rams ended the night with their fourth straight road loss to fall to 1-4 on the season. The Lady Rams will remain on the road when the team heads to Hickory, N.C. to take on the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears, Tuesday evening. 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.