Lady Rams Beat Virginia Union In First Round Of CIAA Tournament

By LA Batchelor
Updated: February 28, 2005

Raleigh, NC–

Finally, the WSSU Lady Rams resembled the team that began the season strong and the team that so many had high expectations for as they started slow in the first half and then took a 12 point halftime lead en route to a 66-55 win over the Virginia Union University Lady Panthers in the opening round of the 2005 CIAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at the RBC Center in Raleigh.

WSSU started the contest off with a pair of turnovers and Virginia Union was able to draw first blood, recording the first field goal of the contest on a 15-foot jumper by Katchona Johnson for an early 2-0 lead.

After trailing the first ten minutes of the first half, the Lady Rams would battle back with the help of Shalonda Carter. Carter came out strong in the first half and showed no sophomore jinx by scoring a 10 points and six rebounds in the first half while shooting impressively. She hit on all five of her field goals. LaToya Armstrong would also score 10 points in the first half as she and Carter were the only players to score into double-digits in the first half.

Virginia Union’s poor shooting and solid defensive play enabled the Lady Rams to pull ahead by as many as 13 points in the period and they were able to keep the Lady Panthers at bay en route to a 35-23 halftime lead.

The Lady Panthers started strong in the second half with solid defense and high percentage shots and the Lady Panthers went on a 12-2 run cutting the Lady Rams lead to only four points early in the second half.

The scoring drought continued for the Lady Rams to the point of their fans having thoughts of pessimism as Virginia Union would shave the WSSU lead to as little as two points as it would take the Lady Rams 7:16 to record their first second-half field goal. The Lady Rams however, would snap the field-goal drought with a Tiffany Tonkins second-chance jumper to push their lead back to eight points at 43-35.

Once again, solid and aggressive WSSU defense and production from the free-throw line would ultimately seal the Lady Panther’s fate.

WSSU head coach John Williams, who earned his first CIAA tournament game victory with the win had the following comment:

“I was pleased with the effort, especially in the first half. I think that Virginia Union did a good job in the second half, as they cut it to only two points, just like they did to us earlier in the season when they beat us, but this time, we were able to recover and used good free throw shooting to earn this win.”

The Lady Rams were led by Shalonda Carter who scored a game high 25 including nine for ten shooting. She also pulled down 15 rebounds in the win. LaToya Armstrong chipped in 12 points and Cherena Douglass pulled down a game and career high 14 rebounds. Virginia Union was led by Andrea Colbert who scored 19 points in the loss.

With the win, the Lady Rams improve to 14-14 overall and move on to face the Western Division #1 seed Fayetteville State University Lady Broncos at 9:00 PM on Tuesday evening in the CIAA Tournament quarter-finals.

The Lady Rams are 0-2 against the Lady Broncos this season including an overtime loss in Fayetteville.

Lady Rams To Face Virginia Union In First Round Of CIAA Tournament

Raleigh, NC – The Winston-Salem State University Lady Rams basketball team will face the Lady Panthers of Virginia Union University in the 9:00 PM game on day one of the 2005 CIAA Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament from the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC.

The Lady Rams, who finished the regular-season with a 13-14 record (5-11 CIAA, 3-7 CIAA West) earned the Western Division’s fifth seed and will play in the final game of the tournament’s first day versus the CIAA Eastern Division’s #2 seed, the Virginia Union University Lady Panthers.

The Lady Panthers, who finished the regular season with a 12-13 overall mark (7-9 CIAA) have lost seven of their last ten games following an injury to their best player, Andrea Bellamy. The junior forward from Columbus, GA has missed the last three games with a finger injury that she sustained versus Longwood on February 15th, 2005.

WSSU and Virginia Union met only once during the regular-season in a matchup on January 4th, 2005 in Winston-Salem, NC that the Lady Panthers won by the score of 69-59.

The two teams, who are no stranger to one another, have a long history of basketball excellence, however, they have met only once in the CIAA Tournament during the last decade. WSSU defeated Virginia Union 75-60 in the 2002 CIAA Tournament first-round en route to WSSU’s only championship appearance.

Tip-off for the contest is slated for 9:00 PM at the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC.

Re-cap of last games

Lady Rams Finish the regular season with a Victory; They Defeat The Lady Tigers 68-59

By L.A. Batchelor

Lawrenceville, VA – The Winston-Salem State University Lady Rams, playing with only eight players suited up due to injury, finished the 2004-05 regular-season with a victory on Thursday afternoon in Lawrenceville, VA as they defeated the Lady Tigers of Saint Paul’s College by the score of 68-59 as WSSU improved to 13-14 overall and 5-11 in the CIAA (3-7 CIAA West).

The Lady Rams used a small lineup to earn an important regular-season ending victory over the Lady Tigers.

The Lady Rams battled and led for the better part of 20 minutes as they could not put away the scrappy Lady Tigers. However, the second half of play would see WSSU put the game away and saw their lead grow into double-digits for more than 15 of the second half’s 20 minutes.

The Lady Tigers did not give up however, forcing multiple WSSU turnovers which they converted into easy baskets but despite the loss of the majority of their inside game due to injury, the Lady Rams were still able to control the paint in the game as Shalonda Carter led the way with another double-double, scoring 16 points and 12 rebounds including six of 12 shooting from the field, and four of six shooting from the free-throw line.

Cherena Douglass chipped in with 14 points and two rebounds, Latoya Armstrong scored 12 points and Nikki Eason, who was playing in her final regular-season game as a Lady Ram, tallied 11 points, five rebounds and seven assists.

With the win, the Lady Rams improve to 13-14 overall, and 5-11 in the CIAA (3-7 CIAA West). The Lady Tigers fall to 0-27 overall, 0-16 in the CIAA and 0-10 in the CIAA East.

Both teams will return to action starting on Monday, February 28th, 2005 in the first round of the 2005 CIAA Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament.

Rams Finish Strong; Defeat Saint Paul 77-65 and Finish The Regular Season 21-6

By L.A. Batchelor

Lawrenceville, VA – The 2004-05 WSSU Rams finish off a spectacular and successful regular-season by defeating the Saint Paul College Tigers in Lawrenceville, VA 77-65. The win clinched the CIAA Western Division regular-season title, and improved their final regular season record at 21-6 including 14-2 in the CIAA, 8-2 CIAA West.

The game was tightly played through most of the first half of play as the two teams battled back and forth, yet you always felt like the Rams were in control of the contest’s tempo and pace as they ran their offense seemingly easily.

WSSU was able to jump out to an early lead in the first half of play connecting on 15 of 32 field goal attempts. They pressured the Tigers, by aggressive defense and the Tigers were only able to hit seven of their 27 first-half field goal attempts and shot only 25.9% from the field and the Rams took a 37-27 lead into halftime.

The Tigers would come out strong in the second half as they cut the Ram lead to as little as five points behind a shooting performance that saw Saint Paul’s hit almost 60% of its field goals.However, the Rams shot 50% from the field as well in the second half, and the game would come down to a late WSSU run that again pushed the lead into the double-digits.

With two minutes to play, the Rams lead was 10 and the Rams would hold onto that lead by hitting free throws to ice the game and secure their 21st win of the season.

WSSU was led by Audly Wehner with 13 points, Terris Sifford with 12 and Rashad McGee, Darnell Gregory, and Alleggrie Guinn each recorded 11 points.

Saint Paul’s was led by Jerry Henderson who scored a game high 16 points in a losing effort.

The Rams will return to action on Thursday, March 3rd, 2005 as they will take to the court in the quarterfinal round of the 2005 CIAA Championship Tournament. The Rams are the #1 seed in the Western Division and will face off against an as-yet-to-be-determined opponent.