WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Lady Rams (5-5) took their third straight win when the team took a 49-33 win over the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears (5-3), Monday evening at the C.E. Gaines Center. The Lady Rams utilized a tough defensive effort and some timely offensive play to claim their third straight victory.
"It was a tremendous defensive effort. Even early in the season, I thought we were pretty good defensively, and now I think that ten games later, we're even better than we were then," WSSU women's basketball head coach A.G. Hall said. "For us to come in and play this team for the second time and give up 60 points at their place and to hold to 33 in this game is good feeling."
Both teams found points hard to come by in the win as the Lady Rams held Lenoir-Rhyne to shooting 24.5% from the field and forced 23 turnovers. However, WSSU shot just 28.8% from the field in the game. The Lady Rams were able to get timely shots in the game with junior guard Taylar Wells leading the way with a team-high 11 points in the game. Fellow junior guard Keyrra Gillespie added seven points with four assists and six rebounds as well. Sophomore guard McKenzie Weston added eight points with three steals.
"I was actually impressed with how we executed on offense. I think we still aren't shooting the ball as well as we'd like, but our execution is good so we don't have bad turnovers and then we're allowed to get back on defense and let our defense keep us in the game and in the end win the game."
The game was close early as the two teams combined for five field goals in the first 10 minutes of play. Behind the effort, the Lady Rams were able to jump out to an 8-4 lead after pair of free throws by sophomore forward Dionna Scott at the 11:59 mark. It was down the stretch of the half that the Lady Rams would gain control of the contest when an 8-2 WSSU run gave the Lady Rams a 21-12 lead at the 1:19 mark. A Wells three-pointer with 26 seconds left in the half gave the Lady Rams their biggest lead of the half to took the team into the locker room with a 24-14 lead.
In the second half, the Lady Rams and Bears continued their defensive battle with neither team scoring for the first five minutes of play. After trading baskets, the Lady Rams held on to a 26-16 lead following a lay-up by senior forward Schatavia Gray at the 13:42 mark. It was at the 10:55 mark that the Lady Rams would break things open with a 7-1 run that gave the team a 33-17 lead. Though the Bears would make a run, cutting the WSSU lead down to 10 points, 38-28 with 2:37 left, the Lady Rams would not relent, pushing their lead to 14 points, 43-28 with 1:21 left. From there, the Lady Rams cruised to the 49-33 victory.
With the win, the Lady Rams improve to 5-5 and will open conference play in January when the team heads to Richmond, Virginia to take on the Virginia Union Lady Panthers. The team will return home on January 10th to host Virginia State. 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.