WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Lady Rams (6-4) ended 2013 on a down note when the team took a hard-fought 62-56 loss to the Edinboro (Pa.) Fighting Scots (6-3), Tuesday evening at the C.E. Gaines Center. Though both teams showed some signs of struggles following the Christmas break, they both showed a lot of heart and great effort in the contest.
As a team, the Lady Rams gave a solid overall effort, shooting 38% from the floor. However, the team struggled with 21 turnovers in the game. The senior tandem of forward Amanda Hairston and guard Jasmine Elum led the way for the team. Hairston led the WSSU attack with 17 points and four rebounds while Elum added 12 points. Junior forward Somalia McKenney led the WSSU rebounding effort with seven in the game.
The Lady Rams got off to a slow start, falling into an early 2-7 deficit after the opening minute of play. The team soon erased the deficit with five unanswered points to tie the game 7-7 on a free throw by McKenney at the 13:25 mark. The battle would ensue from there with Edinboro (Pa.) holding on to the lead and going ahead by as many as four points. However, the Lady Rams would not relent as a paif of back-to-back steals and lay-ups capped a five unanswered points, including an Elum lay-up that gave the Lady Rams their first lead of the game, 19-18 with 4:14 left in the first half. The effort was a part of a 9-0 run that gave WSSU a 23-18 lead with 3:04 left in the first half. However, the WSSU offense would slow down in the final minutes of the half. An Elum lay-up at the 1:27 mark was the lone score for the Lady Rams during the span as the team took a 25-26 deficit into the locker room at halftime.
The second half a much better early effort by the Lady Rams as the team pushed its lead to as many as six points, 34-28 with 17:08 left following a 10-0 WSSU run. However, the Lady Rams soon found themselves trailing as Edinboro (Pa.) answered with a 12-3 run of their own that left the Lady Rams trailing 37-41 with 11:40 left to play. From there, the Lady Rams continued to play "catch-up", but were never able to recover the lead. After falling behind by four points, a Hairston lay-up and free throw tied the game, 41-41 with 10:40 left to play. From there, the Lady Rams continued to battle, but could never overcome. After falling behind by as many as five points, 49-54 at the 3:17 mark, the Lady Rams were able to cut their deficit down to just two points, 52-54 with 2:42 left. However, the some clutch free throw shooting by the Scots ended the WSSU threat. In the final minutes of the game, the both teams' offenses struggled. The two teams combined for three made baskets, including an Elum three-pointer at the 00:23 mark, the sole WSSU basket. During the span, the Lady Rams managed just three made free throws to end the day with the tough 56-62 loss.
With the loss, the Lady Rams fall to 6-4, but will have little time to recover as the team will open Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play when they host the Virginia Union Lady Panthers in a Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. 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.