CHARLOTTE, NC – The Winston-Salem State Lady Rams (9-11, 4-6 CIAA, 0-4 CIAA South) suffered heartbreak once again as the team took another close loss that came down to the wire when the team fell to the Johnson C. Smith Lady Golden Bulls (7-12, 4-6 CIAA), Wednesday evening. The loss was the fifth in a row for the Lady Rams and the fourth straight loss in the CIAA Southern Division.
After falling behind late in the first half, the Lady Rams used some stifling defense and a tenacious effort to claw their way back into the contest and gave themselves a chance to win, but the team could not get a shot off and took the heartbreaking 45-42 loss. The Lady Rams played a solid overall game despite shooting 30.8% from the field and forcing 24 JCSU turnovers in the game. However, the team could not get the points when they needed them in the loss. WSSU sophomore forward Dionna Scott and junior guard Taylar Wells led the way for the Lady Rams with 10 points each in the game. Scott also tied for the team lead with five rebounds in the game as well.
The Lady Rams got out to one of their best starts of the season with an impressive performance early in the game. A Wells three-pointer at the 13:06 mark gave the Lady Rams a 12-6 lead, but the team would run into a scoring drought that allowed JCSU to regain control of the contest, 20-14 with 5:20 left in the half. Though the Lady Rams continued to fight, the team struggled with fouls and turnovers plaguing them at every turn. As a team, the Lady Rams managed just three points in the final five minutes of the half and took a 26-19 deficit into the locker room at the half. For the half, the Lady Rams shot 25.9% from the floor and committed 10 turnovers.
The second half saw a rejuvenated effort by the Lady Rams as the team erased its deficit in the first three minutes when a lay-up by sophomore forward Somalia McKenney capped three unanswered WSSU scores and tied the game, 26-26 with 17:13 left in the game. From there, the Lady Rams would keep pushing, but Johnson C. Smith had an answer at every turn. The Lady Rams would get within one point, trailing 37-36 after a Wells jumper at the 7:38 mark, but the Lady Rams would never get over the top. The Lady Rams made their final stand in the last minute of the game when a jumper by junior guard Keyrra Gillespie pulled the team within three points, 45-42 with 00:46 left. The door opened for the Lady Rams when senior forward Schatavia Gray pulled in a big rebound following a missed JCSU jumper at the 00:21 mark. However, the Lady Rams would never even get a shot attempt as the Lady Golden Bulls held WSSU without a shot attempt as the time ran out on the Lady Rams and the team finished the evening with the 45-42 loss.
With the loss, the Lady Rams remain winless in the CIAA Southern Division. The team will return home for their next action when the team hosts the Livingstone Lady Blue Bears on Legacy Weekend at the C.E. Gaines Center, Saturday evening at 5:00 p.m. 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.