Season a mixed bag for Lady Rams

Season a mixed bag for Lady Rams
January 23
00:00 2015

Winston-Salem State’s women got mixed results in their most recent CIAA basketball encounters. The Lady Rams put together a promising comeback effort against St. Augustine’s, but still fell short in a 62-59 loss last Saturday. Earlier in the week, WSSU shifted into high gear in the second half and cruised to a decisive 70-47 win over Elizabeth City State.

In spite of trailing St. Aug’s by double figures for most of the second half, the Lady Rams managed to stay within striking distance of the lead. Down by 10 points midway through the second half, WSSU went on an 8-1 run to cut the deficit to 52-49 on Kesheria McNeil’s lay-up with 5:26 left to play.

The Lady Rams (6-10, 2-4 CIAA) pulled to within three points again (54-51) at the 2:59 mark. But every time they narrowed the margin, St. Augustine’s always responded. The Falcons put the game away with a couple of fast-break baskets which settled the issue.

“What I saw out there today was not a question of desire,” said WSSU women’s coach A.J. Hall. “It’s not about not having the will to win. It’s a matter of executing what we run on a consistent basis.”
Dionna Scott finished with 13 points and 5 rebounds for the Lady Rams. McNeil came off the bench to deliver another strong performance with 11 points. The back-ups posted one of their better games of the season. As a unit, the WSSU bench scored 30 points.

While Hall was satisfied with his team’s effort, he wants to see more diversity on offense. WSSU’s women, he explained, showed far too much dependency on outside shooting, especially from 3-point distance (hit 25 percent on 5-of-20 shooting from beyond the arc).

Missed defensive assignments played a key role in the defeat. The Lady Rams forced 25 turnovers, but they also committed 25 turnovers. An inability to box-out for rebounds also worked against WSSU, which was outscored 16-6 in second-chance points.

“We have to find a way to generate more scoring from the paint,” said Hall. “There were too many times when we got comfortable settling for jump shots instead taking the ball to the basket.”

In the win over Elizabeth City State, the Lady Rams were never seriously challenged. A 20-7 spurt midway through the first half enabled WSSU to build a 34-24 cushion by intermission. The second half produced more of the same as Hall’s team picked up its second conference win of the season.

Scott contributed 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. McNeil chipped in with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.

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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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