Rams Open CIAA Play with an 80-72 Win at Lincoln (Pa.)

LINCOLN, PA – The Winston-Salem State Rams (4-5, 1-0 CIAA) opened Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play on a high note when the team took an 80-72 road win over the Lincoln (Pa.) Lady Lions (4-7, 0-2 CIAA), Saturday afternoon. The Rams took the win behind a balanced offensive attack with four players reaching double-digit scoring in the game.

As a team, the Rams had a strong, balanced effort in the win. The Rams shot 40.0% (26-of-65) from the floor with 52 rebounds. WSSU freshman guard Amaya Tucker led the way for the Rams when she scored a career-high 21 points in the game. Senior forward Brionna Pate added a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds in the game while sophomore guard Teara Johnson added 16 points in the game. Fellow sophomore guard Nyona Shields added 11 points in the game.

Once again, the Rams got started on a down note, but soon broke out to claim the win behind a big second half effort. The Rams took an early 15-12 lead near the midway point of the first quarter after a Pate layup, but the Rams would not score another field goal for the remainder of the quarter to fall behind, 19-16 at the end of the first quarter. After falling behind by as many as eight points, 24-16, the Rams clawed their way back into the game in the final minutes as a Shields three-pointer with two seconds left in the second quarter capped a 21-9 run in the final minutes and gave the Rams a 37-36 halftime lead.

Now in control of the game, the Rams held off the Lady Lions and pulled away to claim the win. The rest of the game wasn't all easy for the Rams as the team allowed the Lady Lions to take a 60-56 lead late in the third quarter before a pair of Tucker free throws with 00:35 left in the third quarter left the team trailing 60-58 heading into the fourth quarter. It was in the fourth quarter when the Rams truly took things over. The team put on a defensive showcase in the final quarter, holding the Lady Lions to just 12 fourth quarter points. A Johnson layup with 6:54 left to play tied the game, 64-64 before another Shields three-pointer put the Rams ahead 67-64 with 6:28 left to play. From there, the Rams never looked back as they didn't allow the Lady Lions any closer than two points for the remainder of the game. For the second game in a row, the Rams had some clutch free throws in the final minute of play as the team hit six-of-eight free throws in the final minute of the game to claim the 80-72 win.

With the win, the Rams improve to 4-5 overall and post their third straight win. The team also opens CIAA play with a 1-0 record. The team won't have long to relax, however, when they head to Bowie, Md. To take on the Bowie State Bulldogs 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.