Lady Rams Fall Short Against The Lady Golden Bears

By L.A.Batchelor
Updated: November 26, 2006

WSSU LOGO Winston Salem, NC-The Winston Salem State University Lady Rams were trying to get their first win of the season a against a formidable and familiar opponent in the Lady Golden Bears of Johnson C Smith. It became apparent early that the first win wouldn’t come this evening. The undersized and under-manned Rams were outrebounded and had costly turnovers en route to a 73-63 loss to JSCU in front of a scattered crowd two days after Thanksgiving at the C.E. Gaines Center. The game was close in the beginning but with the score tied, the Golden Bears went to work. Johnson C. Smith went on an 8-0 run with Brittany Sumpter knocking down a jumper after a turnover by WSSU’s Akebia Williams making the score 20-12 with 11:34 left in the first half. The Golden Bears extended their lead to 14 points when JCSU’s Janai Jackson was fouled by Lavontay Johnson making the score 30-16 Johnson C. Smith with 4:41 left in the first half. WSSU battled back to close to within six points after a 3 point field goal was made by Ja’Pel Sumpter making the score 32-26 with just over two minutes remaining in the half. Both teams traded baskets and foul shots and the Rams found themselves down by six points at the half 34-28. JCSU used their size to dominate inside the first half. The Golden Bears had a total of 14 offensive rebounds to WSSU’s four. The second half began with the Rams being much more aggressive and playing with lots of intensity. WSSU made an effort to get to the basket and draw fouls on the bigger Golden Bears and they were successful. WSSU found themselves in the penalty with just over 13 minutes remaining in the game. Head coach Dee Stokes and her staff hoped the Rams would take over the game or at least tie it by making free throws. It didn’t happen. After WSSU’s Kadina Baldwin drained a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to three points at 42-39, JCSU responded with a 6-0 run after a basket and a foul converted by Brittany Sumpter, and a free throw by Ashley Truesdale push JCSU lead back to 48-39 with 10:56 remaining in the game. The Rams continued to try and cut the lead down but the inside scoring and rebounding from the Golden Bears continued to be too much for the Rams. JCSU pounded the ball inside and increased the lead up to 15 points after Tiana Pope stole the ball from WSSU’s Kadina Baldwin and went down the court for an easy layup making the score 60-45 with 7:29 to play in the game. The Rams showed the heart and courage of a well-coached team as they continued to battle and cut the deficit down to under ten points. Winston Salem State’s Lavontay Johnson hit a jumper on the baseline and the Golden Bears lead was cut to seven at 62-55 with 3:28 remaining in the game. WSSU cut the lead to five points when they lost their best player, All-American candidate Senior Shalonda Carter. She fouled out of the game with the Rams down 65-61 with just over 2:07 remaining in the game. It proved to be a factor as the Rams had really only one option inside with Johnson who was double and tripled teamed by JCSU. The Rams tried desperately to make shots including free throws but seem to be out of gas. In the end, JCSU made free throws, rebounded the ball, extended their lead and eventually won the game 73-63. WSSU was outrebounded 40-35, including 19-12 on the offensive boards. JCSU Bears also won the points in the paint battle 40-30 and second chance points 22-14. The Rams did take advantage of the turnovers they created converting 23 turnovers into 28 points. They also held the Golden Bears to only 39 percent shooting from the field.

JCSU was led by Rochelle Bodie with 17 points and 10 rebounds and Shemika Jones with 17 points and six rebounds. The Rams were led by Kadina Baldwin who was solid with 17 points and 10 rebounds, Lavontay Johnson with 14 points and seven rebounds and Shalonda Carter with 13 points and nine rebounds.

With the win, JCSU improved their record to 3-1 while WSSU dropped to 0-5 on the season. The Rams return to action on November 27, 2006 as they travel to Norfolk, VA to face the Spartans of Norfolk State University. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.