Slow Start Costs Rams in 89-66 Loss at Virginia State


ETTRICK, VA – The Winston-Salem State Rams (5-7, 0-4 CIAA) could find no answers when the team took an 89-66 loss to the Virginia State Trojans (13-0, 3-0 CIAA), Friday afternoon. Offensively, the Rams had a solid game, but the team just could not keep up with the Trojans in the scoring column.

As a team, the Rams had a solid overall game. The Rams shot a solid 44.3% (27-of-61) from the floor, but the team could not stop the Trojans from shooting an even better 47.0% (31-of-66) in the game. One area of concern for the Rams was foul troubles when the team sent to the Trojans to the free throw line for 25 attempts alongside eight free throw attempts of their own. WSSU senior guard Tiana Edwards led the way for the Rams with 17 points while senior center Kandace Tate came off the bench for 16 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Senior forward Briana Arnold added 10 points with six rebounds.

Things got tough early for the Rams as Virginia State controlled the game early and never let up. Things looked good early for the Rams as the team came out with a 10-0 run to start the game. However, the strong start was lost in a hurry with the Rams falling victim to a 33-2 run by the Trojans to end the first quarter trailing, 33-12. After a lay-up from sophomore guard Jahlia Williams with 7:40 left in the first quarter, the Rams didn't score again until the 8:55 mark in the second quarter and trailed the Trojans, 41-14 after a Tate lay-up. The Rams would find their way later in the quarter and cut their deficit down to 23 points and took a 52-29 deficit into the locker room at halftime.

The Rams would put on an improved defensive performance in the second half, but the team could not find enough offense to get back into the game. The Rams would get no closer than 23 points in the third quarter; however, the team ended the quarter trailing, 75-49. The Rams were able to find some life late in the fourth quarter. After falling into their largest deficit of the game, 81-49, the Rams saw a late spark. Freshman guard Nyona Shields scored back-to-back baskets and sophomore forward Taniya Dunn capped a six-point run by the Rams to cut their deficit down to 21 points, 81-60 with 3:39 left. However, there just wasn't enough time for the Rams as the Trojans outscored them, 8-6 and handed the Rams the 89-66 loss.

With the loss, the Rams fall to 5-8 overall and 0-4 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The team will return to action tomorrow when they head to Murfreesboro, N.C. to take on the Chowan Lady Hawks in a 4:00 p.m. game. For more information on Rams women's basketball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to