SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Converse (4-3) basketball team saw its four-game winning streak come to an end on Sunday afternoon, falling to the visiting Rams of Winston-Salem State by the final of 85-73 inside Hannah Gymnasium.
Paige Johnson and Serenity Hunt paced the Vals with 11 points each, while Abigail Lewis chipped in 10. Hunt did all her damage in just seven minutes of action off the bench. Nigeria Davis notched another double-figure rebounding game, hauling in a team-high 10 off the glass. Kandace Tate led all players with 21 points and 14 rebounds.
Winston-Salem jumped out of the gate quickly, scoring the game's first 11 points in just over two minutes. Shakori Jennings-Shuler put an end to the run with a nice basket inside and Dominique Hill drained a three from the corner to cut the score to 11-5. However, WSSU was able to push its lead to a dozen (24-12) to end the first period of play.
Four straight points by the Rams to open the second pushed the lead to a commanding 28-12, but a 13-6 spurt by Converse over the next three-plus minutes trimmed the deficit to single-digits (34-25) following a layup by Lewis. The rest of the frame was back-and-forth and WSSU went into the locker room leading by eight points (39-31).
Winston-Salem pressed the ball to start the second half and forced several turnovers by Converse ball-handlers, leading to its biggest lead thus far, 51-34. Converse could not muster much on offense, getting outscored by WSSU 26-15 in the third frame trailing 65-46.
Winston-Salem extended the lead to its largest (72-50) with 8:09 remaining in regulation. The Valkyries continued to chip away at the lead, eventually trimming it to 78-70 following a deep three from Ashley Sides. Unfortunately, that was as close as the score would get as WSSU finished the game on a 7-3 run.
The Valkyries shot only 33% (21-63) for the game, including 6-of-21 (28.6%) from distance. Converse also connected on 76% of its free throws (25-33).
The Valkyries will be back in action on Tuesday, November 28 as they open conference play, hosting the Lions of Emmanuel College. Tipoff for that contest is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. inside Hannah Gymnasium.