WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Lady Rams (2-4) put on a stellar show for the home crowd when the team took a 57-34 win over the Tusculum Pioneers (4-2), Monday evening at the C.E. Gaines Center. The win was a big one for the Lady Rams as the team snapped a four-game skid that included a 74-42 loss to the Pioneers earlier this season.
"I am proud of the effort of the players. They've been working extremely hard to get better individually and as a team," WSSU women's basketball head coach A.G. Hall said. "Tonight was a glimpse of what they are able to do if we work hard."
The Lady Rams put on their best effort of the short season with impressive performances on both ends of the court in the victory. As a team, the Lady Rams shot a scorching hot 50% from the field while holding Tusculum to shooting just 27.3% from the field and forcing 27 turnovers. WSSU sophomore forward Somalia McKenney led the way for the Lady Rams with a team-high 13 points. Junior guard Keyrra Gillespie added nine points and pulled in a career-high 11 rebounds. She barely missed a triple double with none points and seven assists in the game.
Monday's effort was a far cry from the Lady Rams' earlier meeting with the Pioneers that saw the team shoot 19.2% from the field and committed 24 turnovers. "I think the big difference was that the kids are getting more comfortable with what I am asking them to do at both ends of the floor," Hall added. "You can't rush chemistry. If you look at that game two weeks ago, you can see what we were able to do in a short amount of time."
The Lady Rams got things going early rushed to an 11-4 lead through the first nine minutes of the game. During the span, the Lady Rams held Tusculum to just one field goal while jumping ahead. The team never looked back as they pushed their lead to as many as 17 points, 27-10 at the 1:59 mark in the first half. With the comfortable lead, the Lady Rams cruised to take a 29-12 lead into the locker room at halftime.
In the second half, the Lady Rams continued their push while holding off an aggressive Tusculum attack. The Pioneers were able to rally early in the half, cutting the WSSU lead down to 16 points, 36-18 with 13:20 left to play. However, it was as close as the Lady Rams would allow as the team answered with a late run that pushed the Lady Rams ahead 55-31 with 00:45 left to play and put the game away for the Lady Rams as the team finished the night with the 57-34 victory.
With the win, the Lady Rams improve to 2-4 on the season and remain undefeated at home. The team will remain at home for their next action as they will host the Anderson Trojans on December 12th after a break for exams. "The break is a good thing because it gives us time to continue to learn about how to play at both ends of the floor give and it give us a chance to get in the lab and get better," Hall said.
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.