RALEIGH, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (11-10, 6-6 CIAA) staged a big fourth quarter comeback to claim their third straight Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Southern Division win when the team took a 66-63 road win over the Saint Augustine's Falcons (6-15, 3-9 CIAA), Wednesday evening. After trailing, 42-40 heading into the fourth quarter, the Rams staged a late rally, outscoring the Falcons, 26-21 in the fourth quarter to claim the win.
The Rams had their share of struggles throughout the game, but in the end, some clutch shooting and defense turned out to be the key to the win for the team. For the game, the Rams were held to shooting just 39.3% (24-of-61) in the game, including going four-for-11 from the three-point line. WSSU senior guard Tiana Edwards led the way for the team with 17 points in the game. Fellow senior center Kandace Tate added 15 points while junior forward Brionna Pate added 13 points with 11 rebounds and senior forward Briana Arnold added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Rams struggled against some tough Falcons defense in the first half and ended the half in a deficit. The team came out to a slow start as the team fell behind the Falcons and went down by as many as seven points, 16-9 in the final minute of the quarter. From there, the Rams were able to get a Tate lay-up to end the quarter trailing, 16-11. The second quarter saw a better effort from the Rams, but the team had a hard time keeping up with a hot Saint Augustine's team. The Rams once again fell behind by as many as 10 points, 23-13 before staging a late comeback in the half. The Rams outscored the Falcons 13-6 in the final five minutes of the half. When freshman guard Teara Johnson hit a lay-up with nine seconds left in the half, the Rams trailed 29-26 heading into the locker room.
The third quarter was a much different effort for the Rams. The team kept up the pressure when the team pulled to within a point of the Falcons, 36-35 after a Tate free throw with 3:44 left in the third quarter. The two teams kept up the battle to leave the Rams trailing, 42-40 at the end of the quarter and set the stage for a dramatic fourth quarter. After falling behind by as many as five points early in the quarter, the Rams battled their way back into the game to tie it on a three-pointer from Edwards with 7:48 left to play tied the game 47-47. The three-pointer was significant in more ways than one as it made Edwards the WSSU career leader in three-pointers made. From there, the Rams and the Falcons kept the thrilling game going when the Rams claimed their first lead of the game, 50-47 on another Edwards three-pointer. Midway through the quarter, the Rams found themselves trailing, 56-52. It was in the final three minutes of the game when the Rams staged their dramatic comeback. After falling behind, 61-55 with 3:42 left to play, the Rams turned on their defense to secure the win as they didn't allow the Falcons to hit another field goal for the rest of the game and went on a 7-2 run to close the game. An SAU three-pointer at the buzzer ended the game and sealed the Rams' 64-61 victory.
With the win, the Rams improve to 11-10, overall and 6-6 in CIAA play. The team also improves to 5-1 in CIAA Southern Division play and keeps their hold on second place in the division. The Rams will return home for their next action as they will host the Shaw Lady Bears in a 2:00 p.m. 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.