RALEIGH, NC – The Winston-Salem State Lady Rams gave a great overall effort in an 80-46 exhibition road loss to the North Carolina State Wolfpack, Sunday afternoon. Though the team finished the afternoon with the loss, the team showed some very bright spots and displayed some fantastic potential for the upcoming season.
"I definitely saw some things that we improved upon compared to last year," Winston-Salem State head coach A.G. Hall said following the game. "Obviously, N.C. State is a physically more commanding team than we will face this year and that showed. They got the ball inside and overpowered us on defense and forced us to turn the ball over."
As a team, the Lady Rams finished the game with 24 turnovers and shot just 26.4% from the field in the tough loss. "I thought we did some good things on defense. I thought some of our kids showed the ability to create their own shots," Hall added. "So we'll keep working and try to find a way to get better and definitely use this experience to do that."
One of the bright spots for the Lady Rams was the team's rebounding effort as WSSU finished the day with 37 total rebounds, just two fewer than the Wolfpack. The team was also solid defensively, forcing 18 Wolfpack turnovers in the game. "It was just us being gritty. That's one of the things that drove our defense last year and some of the kids that we've recruited, like Amanda Hairston, who is going to help us on the boards and Jovonah [Graham] is better and even Chaylia [Coleman] had good energy early," Hall added. "But again, it was just them wearing us down, we ended up losing that rebounding battle by two, but we definitely had some good spurts at times going after the ball.
One bright spot for the Lady Rams was junior forward Jovonah Graham, who nearly pulled off a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds in the game. "Jovonah is a talented kid. I like her. She had some ability last year and now she's older and she's wiser and she wants to have a good year," Hall said. "So she's a very capable kid and I think a lot of our kids are, so I'm not surprised by that effort from her."
The Lady Rams gave a strong effort early in the game, holding the Wolfpack within striking distance early, trailing 4-6 after the first four minutes of play. However, the Wolfpack would strike with an 18-2 run that left the Lady Rams trailing, 22-6 with 12:35 left in the first half. The Lady Rams would answer with a 10-4 run of their own later in the half to pull within 12 points, 16-28 with 8:40 left to play. Down the stretch of the half, another late slump left the Lady Rams trailing 26-42 at the half.
In the second half, the Lady Rams kept the Wolfpack within reach, trailing by 15 points, 33-48 with 16:01 left to play. However, foul troubles and some tough defense combined to shut down the WSSU effort to get back into the game. In the final 10 minutes of the game, the Lady Rams hit just three field goals and scored just 11 points.
The Lady Rams will open the 2013-14 season, Friday evening when the team heads to Elon, N.C. to take on the Elon Phoenix. 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.