WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (1-4) came up short in a 107-101 loss to the West Liberty State Hilltoppers (4-2), Wednesday afternoon. The two teams both had strong offensive showings in the game, but in the end, the Rams came up just short in the tough loss.
As a team, the Rams gave a great offensive effort. WSSU senior forward Brionna Pate led the way for the Rams with a game-high 30 points, just five short of tying her career-high. She also pulled in 15 rebounds for a double-double in the game. Sophomore guard Teara Johnson added 24 points in the game while freshman guard Amaya Tucker added 15 points off the bench.
The action began early in the game with both teams putting up points in a hurry. The Rams got a slow start to the game as they allowed the Hilltoppers to take a 15-8 lead before the Rams cut their deficit down to just three points, after a 7-3 run that was capped by a jumper from junior guard Taylor Daniels with 3:34 left in the quarter. Down the stretch of the quarter, the Rams allowed another late run to the Hilltoppers to take a 32-24 deficit at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter saw the Rams break out as they took control of the game from the Hilltoppers. It was midway through the quarter when the Rams really took things over with a 10-point run that was capped was capped by a lay-up from Tucker with 2:51 left in the quarter. Tucker scored five of the Rams' points during the run. WSSU allowed West Liberty to tie the game, 45-45 with 1:26 left in the quarter, but the Rams answered with a 5-1 run in the final minute and took a 49-48 lead into the locker room at the half.
In the third quarter, the two teams both kept up their high-scoring ways. The Rams took their largest lead of the game during the quarter after a three-pointer from Daniels left the Rams on top, 64-58 with 6:17 left in the third quarter. Unfortunately for the Rams, the team allowed a late run by the Hilltoppers as a 9-2 WLU run left the Rams trailing, 81-75 at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter saw both teams step up their efforts at both ends of the court. However, the Rams could not quite make the shots or the stops that they needed to pull off the win. The Rams made the quarter an exciting one as they continually pushed to try to get the win. After falling behind by as many as 10 points, 101-91 with 3:24 left to play, the Rams made a furious comeback in the final minutes. The team scored six straight points to cut their deficit down to four points, 103-99 after a lay-up from Pate, but the Hilltoppers hit some clutch free throws in the final minute to pull away and left the Rams with the 107-101 loss.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 1-4 this season. The team will return to action, Sunday when they head to Hickory, N.C. to take on the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears in a 2:00 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.