WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (7-2) put on a dominant defensive performance to take a 74-56 win over the Anderson (S.C.) Trojans (6-3), Saturday evening at the C.E. Gaines Center. With the win, the Rams remain undefeated at home and extend their non-conference home winning streak to eight games. The team took the win behind a strong defensive effort that saw the team hold the high-scoring Trojans to just 56 points in the game.
"This was a team defensive effort, especially with Marcus Wells guarding Denzail Jones because he's a prolific scorer and our defense definitely was the reason why we had success tonight," WSSU men's basketball head coach Bobby Collins said. "I was very pleased and proud of my team and the way we executed defensively."
The Rams utilized a high-pressure defensive effort for all forty minutes of the contest and it paid off for the Rams as the team forced 21 Anderson (S.C.) turnovers. Offensively, the Rams had a strong night as well with four players reaching double-digit scoring in the contest. WSSU sophomore Wykevin Bazemore led the way for the Rams with a double-double 11 points and 10 rebounds in the game. He was joined by redshirt-senior guard Dominic Alston and junior forward Victor Holloway who each added 11 points as well. Senior forward Wakefield Ellison added 10 points as well.
"Our bench also came in and gave us a big push. Dominic Alston came in and hit some big shots for us. Victor Holloway played well on the inside and gave us some stability," Collins added. "It definitely was a team effort on both ends of the court."
The Rams kicked the game off in a big way, opening the game with a 10-1 run over the first four minutes of play. The Rams held the Trojans without a field goal for the first five minutes of play. Things would get tough for the Rams, however, as the Trojans would work their way back into the game, cutting the WSSU lead down to just one point, 14-13 with 11:18 left in the first. The Rams responded with their first challenge of the game with a run of their own, scoring five straight points to jump back ahead 19-13 on an Alston three-pointer with 9:38 left in the first half. The two teams would continue their battle down the stretch of the half with WSSU managing to hold on to a four-point edge, 30-26 with 4:06 left in the half. It was then that the Rams would take control with a 12-0 run over the final four minutes of the half. The effort was capped by an Alston three-pointer at the buzzer that left the Rams with the 42-26 halftime lead.
The battle continued in the second half with Anderson (S.C.) cutting the WSSU lead down to nine points following seven straight Trojans points in the game. Though challenged, the Rams would not let in, holding the Trojans at bay, 45-37 at the 13:48 mark. It was then that the Rams took control of the game for good down the stretch of the half following a 12-4 run that left the Rams on top 68-50 with 2:08 left to play. From there, the Rams would cruise to the 74-56 victory.
With the win, the Rams improve to 7-2 and will open Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play next week when the team heads to Richmond, Virginia to take on the Virginia Union Panthers. The win was the Rams' eighth straight non-conference home win. For more information on Rams basketball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2152 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.