WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (1-2) staged a furious fourth quarter comeback, but the team fell short in the final minutes to take a 73-69 loss to the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears (2-2), Wednesday evening. The Rams took the loss in spite of a stellar defensive effort, especially in the fourth quarter of the hard-fought loss.
Though the team struggled early, the Rams played well late for a solid overall effort. As a team, the Rams shot a solid 41.2% (28-of-68) from the floor while allowing Lenoir-Rhyne to shooting 44.1% (26-of-59) from the floor. The Rams also held the rebounding edge in the game, 43-33 in the tough loss. WSSU senior forward Briana Arnold led the way for the Rams with a team-high 14 points in the game while junior forward Brionna Pate scored 13 points with a team-high nine rebounds while freshman guard Teara Johnson added 12 points. Senior center Kandace Tate scored 10 points.
The game was a close one early with Lenoir Rhyne pulling ahead for a 19-16 first quarter lead. The Rams were slow to get started in the game as the team allowed the Bears to jump out to an early 7-3 lead. The Rams were able to climb back into the game, pulling to within a point, 7-8 after a pair of free throws from freshman guard Nyona Shields with 4:38 left. The Rams soon found themselves working their way out of another deficit when they fell behind, 17-9. The Rams closed out the quarter in style, cutting their deficit down to just three points at the end of the quarter, 19-16. Johnson hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.
The second quarter turned out to be a struggle for the Rams with Lenoir-Rhyne going on a shooting barrage from long range. The Rams had an early surge to pull to within a point of the Bears, 24-23 with 6:43 left in the half. Later in the half, the Rams fell victim to a 10-3 run by the Lady Bears to trail, 42-31 at halftime.
The Rams began their comeback with a solid third quarter effort. Things looked tough early for the Rams as the team fell behind, 48-35 with 7:33 left in the quarter. From there, the Rams continued to chip away at their deficit to close the third quarter, trailing, 54-46.
The fourth quarter was a thrilling one for the Rams as the team mounted a furious comeback effort. Trailing the Bears, 68-57 with 3:22 left to play. From there, the Rams held the Bears without a field goal for the remainder of the game while cutting their deficit down to just two points, 71-69 with five seconds left to play. After a pair of clutch free throws, the Bears were able to hold off the Rams to give WSSU the 73-69 loss.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 1-2 to start the season. The team will return to action this weekend when the Rams host the Second Annual Red & White Classic. The Rams will host Central State in a 4:00 p.m. game, Saturday, followed by a 4:00 p.m. game against Benedict, Sunday.
For more information on Rams women's basketball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.