WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Lady Rams (10-11, 5-6 CIAA) picked up their first Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Southern Division win when the team held off the Livingstone Lady Blue Bears (7-13, 3-8 CIAA), Saturday evening. The Lady Rams had to dig deep to get the win as the team staged a second half rally to pick up the victory.
The Lady Rams took the hard-fought win that saw both teams give a stellar defensive effort. As a team, the Lady Rams gave a strong defensive effort, holding Livingstone to shooting just 27.3%, but struggled to hit shot of their own shooting just 26.4% from the floor. The Lady Rams were able to take care of the basketball with just 16 turnovers in the game. WSSU junior guard Keyrra Gillespie led the way for the Lady Rams with a team-high 10 points. She was the only WSSU player to reach double-digit scoring. Sophomore forward Jovonah Graham pulled in a team-high eight rebounds.
The Lady Rams took control of the game early when the team allowed just one Livingstone field goal in the first five minutes of the game. A lay-up by sophomore forward Somalia McKenney gave the Lady Rams a 7-3 lead with 15:36 left in the first half. From there, the team found themselves in a struggle as the Lady Blue Bears charged back to take the lead, 12-11 with 11:04. The game turned into a see-saw battle from there with the two teams trading the lead for the remainder of the half. In the final minute of play, the Lady Rams went cold as the Lady Blue Bears hit a lay-up and free throw to leave the Lady Rams trailing 22-20 at the half.
The battle continued in the second half as the teams battled to a 30-30 tie at the 13:51 mark. The Lady Rams tied the game on a three-pointer by junior guard Taylar Wells at the 13:51. After falling into a four-point deficit, the team battled back to reclaim the lead, 38-36, at the 6:11 mark on a lay-up by sophomore guard Briana Wilder. Livingstone would battle back once again to take another four-point lead over the Lady Rams, but the team would not give in. The Lady Rams used some stellar defense and some clutch free throw shooting to secure the win as the team held Livingstone scoreless for the final two minutes of the game and connected on seven-of-eight free throws in the final minutes to take the win.
With the win, the Lady Rams improve to 10-11 overall and 5-6 in the CIAA. The loss brings the team to 1-4 in the CIAA Southern Division. The Lady Rams will look to win their second straight win when the team hosts the Saint Augustine's Lady Falcons, Saturday 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.