RALEIGH, NC – For the second straight week, the Winston-Salem State Lady Rams (13-9, 7-5 CIAA) staged a furious second half comeback to take a win when they defeated the Saint Augustine's Lady Falcons (10-11, 5-7 CIAA), 65-62 at Emery Gymnasium. After trailing by as many as nine points midway through the second half, the Lady Rams clamped down to take their second straight road win.
The Lady Rams took the win behind an impressive clutch effort, but the team had its share of struggles. As a team, the Lady Rams finished the game shooting an impressive 41.4% from the floor, but committed 27 turnovers in the game. The team was also plagued by foul troubles with 20 total team fouls for the game. WSSU junior guard McKenzie Weston led the way for the Lady Rams with a career-high 16 points, all in the first half. Senior guard Jasmine Elum added 10 points, including eight second half points. Junior forward Jovonah Graham led the WSSU rebounding effort with seven rebounds to accompany nine points in the game.
The first half was a see-saw battle with momentum swinging to both ends of the court for the two teams. The Lady Rams took control of the game early with a 9-3 run to open the game, but the Lady Falcons had an answer with six unanswered points to tie the game. 9-9 with 13:54 left in the half. After building another six-point lead, 15-9 with 12:25 left in the first half. Though Saint Augustine's would make several runs, the Lady Rams remained in control late in the half as a lay-up by junior forward Somalia McKenney gave the team its largest lead of the half, 29-21 with 6:29 left in the half. From there, the Lady Rams saw the momentum swing to the other end of the court as Saint Augustine's erased the WSSU lead in the final minute when they tied the game, 34-34 with 1:44 left in the half. The WSSU offense shut down during the run as a lay-up by junior forward Chaylia Coleman was the only WSSU field goal of the final six minutes of the half. When the hard-fought half ended, the two teams headed into the locker room tied, 34-34.
The second half turned out to be a far different affair from the first half. Though the half turned out to be another see-saw battle, the momentum swings were far larger. The Lady Rams' late struggles carried over into the second half. After a Graham lay-up with 17:51 left to play, the Lady Rams were held without a field goal for over five minutes, falling behind, 51-46 with 12:01 left to play. The Lady Rams would go behind by as many as nine points, 58-49 with 9:13 left to play before making their stand. The Lady Rams whittled their deficit down to just four points, 60-56 with 4:51 left to play before a key three-pointer by Elum at the 3:12 mark that pulled the Lady Rams within one point, 60-59 with 3:12 left to play. The Lady Rams followed the effort with another Elum three-pointer at the 2:28 mark that gave the team its first lead of the half, 62-60. The back-to-back threes were a part of an 11-point run by the Lady Rams. The Lady Rams took advantage of some clutch three-point shooting as nine of the team's points came from long range during the run. Once in control, the Lady Rams rode their defensive effort to the win as they held the Lady Falcons to just one made field goal and just three points in the final nine minutes of the game to take home their second straight come-from-behind victory.
With the win, the Lady Rams improve to 13-9 overall and 7-5 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The team will return to action Wednesday when the team hosts the Shaw Lady Bears in the annual Play 4 Kay Game Cancer Awareness game. 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.