WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (13-12, 8-8 CIAA) made the plays that they needed to make when the team took an 82-77 overtime win over the Livingstone Blue Bears (6-20, 1-15 CIAA), Saturday afternoon. The Rams took the win by maintain their composure to outscore the Blue Bears 13-7 in the overtime period and snapped a two-game skid.
The Rams took the win behind a great overall effort. The Rams shot 43.1% (25-of-68) from the floor. Senior guard Tiana Edwards led the way for the Rams with a game-high 21 points while fellow senior center Kandace Tate added 17 points. Senior forward Briana Arnold rounded out the effort with a double-double 11 points and 13 rebounds in the game.
The game was a close one from the very beginning as the Rams and the Blue Bears played a dramatic first half. The Rams opened the quarter with a slow start as the team fell behind Livingstone, 15-11 with 2:07 left in the first quarter. Tate would score a lay-up with 1:22 left to play before ending the quarter trailing, 15-13 at the end of the quarter. The Rams battled back in the second quarter to take a lead of their own, 28-22 with 4:53 left to play in the second quarter when an Arnold lay-up with 4:53 left in the second quarter. The final minutes of the quarter saw a late rally from the Blue Bears that left the Rams trailing, 31-30 with 2:11 left in the first half. Neither team would hit a field goal for the remainder of the second quarter and ended the half trailing, 35-32 at halftime.
The second half turned out to be a thrilling one with momentum swinging from one end of the court to the other for the remainder of the game. The Rans struck first when sophomore guard Jahlia Williams hit a pair of free throws with 7:49 left in the third quarter to give the Rams the lead, 40-39. The Rams held their lead until late in the quarter before taking a 52-52 tie into the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter was a dramatic affair for the Rams. After a three-pointer from freshman guard Teara Johnson gave the team a 66-59 lead with 5:24 left in regulation, the Rams were held to just one field goal in the final five minutes of the game. A pair of clutch free throws from the Blue Bears would tie the game, 70-70 with just over a minute left in regulation. Neither team would manage to score in the final minute with key turnovers for both sides sending the game into overtime.
The overtime period was just as intense as the rest of the game. The two teams played to their 10th tie of the game, 77-77 with 00:41 left to play. It was in the final six seconds of the game that the Rams showed up in the final seconds when the team hit six of seven free throws in the final seconds to take the win.
With the win, the Rams finish the 2017-18 regular season with a 13-12 overall record with an 8-8 record in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The team finishes the season ranked third in the CIAA Southern Division with the win.
The team will return to action next week when they take part in the 2018 CIAA Women's Basketball Championship Tournament. 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.