WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Lady Rams (4-3) took a heartbreaking 86-83 loss to the #16 Glenville State Lady Pioneers in a game that saw the two teams battling for literally all 40 minutes of the thrilling game. After trailing by as many as 11 points late in the second half, the Lady Rams clawed their way back to tie the game, with just under 30 seconds left and forcing a turnover with just under 10 seconds left, the Lady Rams fell victim to a Lady Pioneer three-pointer at the buzzer that sealed the loss.
The tough loss came in spite of a fantastic effort by the Lady Rams who matched the high-powered Lady Pioneers at every turn. As a team, the Lady Rams shot a hot 43.5% from the game, but were hampered by 30 turnovers and 25 total team fouls in the game. The team held the Lady Pioneers to shooting just 32.9% from the floor and forced 22 turnovers. Four Lady Rams reached double-digit scoring in the game with senior guard Jasmine Elum leading the way with 24 points. Junior forward Dionna Scott added 17 points while fellow junior forward Jovonah Graham added a double-double 11 points and 11 rebounds. Senior forward Amanda Hairston added 13 points and eight rebounds as well.
The game got out to a fast start and turned into an early shootout with both teams finding their way to the basket and hitting shots early. In the first 10 minutes of the first half, the two teams battled to five ties with Glenville State taking a 17-14 lead with 10:05 left in the half. The Lady Rams would take a lead two minutes later when an Elum three-pointer put the Lady Rams on top 19-17. Down the stretch of the half, the Lady Rams ran into a bit of a slump with the Lady Pioneers taking a seven-point lead, 32-25 with 4:52 left in the half. The Lady Rams were able to keep the Lady Pioneers within reach, however when a lay-up by junior guard McKenzie Weston at the 1:01 mark pulled the Lady Rams to within three points, 38-35. From there, the Lady Pioneers connected on a late three-pointer while a lay-up by junior forward Raven Fields left the Lady Rams trailing 41-37 at the half.
The second half turned out to be real thriller as the two teams combined for 91 points. As a team, the Lady Rams totaled 46 points in the half. Things looked bleak for the Lady Rams early with Glenville State building a nine-point lead 47-56 after a 15-9 run. After falling behind by as many as 10 points, 61-51 with 13:35 left to play, the Lady Rams mounted a 6-0 run to cut their deficit down to just three point 66-63 with 8:00 left. The next three minutes of the half saw an offensive explosion by the Lady Pioneers who went on an 11-3 run to put the Lady Rams into their largest deficit of the game 11 points, 77-66 with 4:53 left to play. From there, the Lady Rams answered the call with a 17-6 run. During the run, the Lady Rams turned up their defensive effort, holding the Lady Pioneers to just one field goal in at four minute span. A Hairston lay-up with 30 seconds left tied the game 83-83 and capped the WSSU rally. The Lady Rams kept up the defensive effort, forcing a Lady Pioneer turnover with 10 seconds left to play. After a WSSU missed lay-up the Lady Pioneers took the ball with just two seconds left. From there, the team would connect on a three-pointer near half-court that sealed the heartbreaking WSSU loss.
With the loss, the Lady Rams fall to 4-3 on the season and will hit the road for their next two games, including heading to Mars Hill, Thursday and heading to Benedict, Saturday. 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.