CHARLOTTE, NC – The Winston-Salem State Lady Rams (14-11, 8-7 CIAA) snapped a two-game skid when the team took a big 52-46 road win over the Johnson C. Smith Lady Golden Bulls (13-11, 8-7 CIAA), Wednesday evening. In a game that saw momentum swing to both ends of the court for all 40 minutes, the Lady Rams came up big when they needed to in order to take home the victory.
The Lady Rams overcame their offensive struggles with some quality defense and some timely free throw shooting to take home the victory. As a team, the Lady Rams shot just 31.7% from the floor and just 40.7% from the free throw line. However, the team held Johnson C. Smith to shooting just 26.8% from the floor. WSSU senior forward Amanda Hairston led the way for the team with a double-double 11 points and 13 rebounds in the game. She also added a pair of blocked shots. Junior forward Somalia McKenney joined her in double-digit scoring with 12 points in the game.
The Lady Rams jumped out of the gate in the game with six unanswered points and went ahead 6-0 with 15:48 left in the half. However Johnson C. Smith responded in a big way with 12 unanswered points to leave the Lady Rams trailing 12-6 at the 12:18 mark. the Lady Rams went on to respond in kind when the team rattled off eight straight points to take the lead when a pair of Elum lay-ups put the Lady Rams on top, 14-12 with 8:29 left in the half. From there, the two teams would continue to battle until halftime with neither team going ahead by more than two points for the remainder of the half. After a Hairston free throw left the Lady Rams ahead 22-20 with 18 seconds in the half, a pair of Johnson C. Smith free throws tied the game and sent the two teams into the locker room at the half.
The battle continued in the second half with the two teams battling to a 29-29 tie with 17:41 left to play. Midway through the half, the Lady Rams would mount an 8-2 run that put the team on top, 40-34 with 10:14 left to play. The Lady Rams' lead would slip away late when Johnson C. Smith mounted a 10-2 run that left the Lady Rams trailing 44-41 with 4:58 left and set the stage for the team's final surge for the win. Another Elum three-pointer sparked an 8-5 run by the Lady Rams over the final four minutes of the game to seal the win. During the stretch, junior forward Jovonah Graham scored five of the team's eight points to seal the win, including hitting a lay-up and free throw after JCSU tied the game with just over three minutes left to play. It was freshman guard Morgan Smiley who sealed the game when she hit a free throw with 00:30 left that gave the Lady Rams the 52-46 win.
With the win, the Lady Rams scored their first win in Brayboy Gymnasium since January 24, 2004 and improved to 14-11, and 8-7 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The Lady Rams will return home for their next action when they host the Livingstone Lady Blue Bears in a senior night game at 4:00 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.