WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (1-3) got into the win column for the first time this season when the team took a dominating 81-67 win over the Johnson & Wales (N.C.) Wildcats (2-2), Sunday afternoon. The Rams utilized an up tempo offensive attack and some long-range sharpshooting to claim their first win of the season.
The Rams took the win behind their best overall performance of the season. The team shot 44.6% (33-of-74) from the floor and forced 22 turnovers in the game. WSSU freshman guard Amaya Tucker put on a shooting clinic en route to scoring a career-high 23 points in the game. She went six-for-nine from the three-point line in the game. Senior forward Brionna Pate added 16 points with a team-high nine rebounds in the game.
The team took a while to get going, but once the Rams took control, they never looked back. It was late in the first quarter when the Rams kicked things into gear. After falling behind by as many as five points, 12-7 with 6:13 left in the first quarter, but they kept the Wildcats within reach. After trailing, 18-15 with just over two minutes left in the quarter, the Rams exploded with 10 unanswered points in the final two minutes of the quarter to take a 25-18 lead at the end of the quarter. The run included five points from Tucker.
The Rams kept their strong play going into the second quarter as they continued to pull away from the Wildcats. The pushed its lead to as many as 18 points, 44-26 after a lay-up from sophomore guard Teara Johnson with 3:56 left in the second quarter. In the final minutes, the Wildcats made a run of their own, but the Rams held on to take their 45-33 lead into the locker room at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Rams kept the Wildcats at bay, but the team had to work to do so. Johnson & Wales made an early run to cut the WSSU lead down to 11 points, 48-37, but it was then that Tucker began a scoring barrage to take over the game. She hit three three-pointers over a three minute span to leave the Rams on top, 58-42 with 3:53 left in the quarter. From there, the Rams took their 65-49 lead into the fourth quarter.
With the lead well in hand, the Rams had their lowest scoring quarter of the game, but the team turned up its defensive effort to claim the win. The Rams went ahead by as many as 21 points, 81-60 with 2:21 left to play before allowing the Wildcats to score seven unanswered points in the final two minutes of the game. However, the Rams did enough to claim their 81-67 victory.
With the win, the Rams improve to 1-3 on the season. The team will return to action, Wednesday afternoon when the host the West Liberty State Hilltoppers in a 1:00 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 www.WSSURams.com.