BOWIE, MD - Winston-Salem State's Justin Glover scored a career high 31 points and the Rams erased a late eight point Bowie State lead to sprint past the Bulldogs 77-72 Monday night in Bowie, Maryland.
With the win, the #17 WSSU Rams have now won nine straight games, and improved to 10-2 overall and 3-0 in Central intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. Bowie State falls for 5-7 overall and 1-2 in CIAA play.
The Rams nine game winning streak is the longest in head coach Bobby Collins coaching career.
After a slow start, WSSU would get on the board a minute and a half into the game on a WyKevin Bazemore jumper that would jump start the Rams, that would see them hold the lead for the remainder of the first half after taking the lead 10-9 on a Marcus Wells steal and fast break dunk.
One of the keys all season for the WSSU Rams has been their superb bench play, and once again the bench came thru. Joe Thompson, Wakefield Ellison and Kimani Hunt played well throughout the half and were able to get key rebound, timely baskets and play solid defense.
The Rams would finished the first half on a positive note, as Wakefield Ellison would hit a driving layup as the first half buzzer sounded, to give WSSU a 42-37 lead heading into the locker room at the half.
WSSU would continue the hot shooting and solid defense at the start of the second half and was able to maintain its seven point lead, until midway through the half.
Winston-Salem State would then go cold, and would see their lead dwindle all the way down until Bowie State would final take the lead with 12:44 to play, at 51-50. WSSU would go scoreless for a span of five minutes and would fall behind by eight points at 58-50 with 10:29 to play.
The Rams would battle back, led by smothering defense and key rebounding, and would erase the lead in a two minute span with an 8-0 of their own to tie the game at 60-60 with 7:04 remaining.
Solid play from Justin Glover, WyKevin Bazemore and Wakefield Ellison would keep the Rams out in front going down to crunch time, and WSSU would be able to hold off Bowie State for their tenth win of the season.
WSSU held marked advantages in points in the paint: 32-26; Points off turnovers: 32-12; 2nd chance points: 20-13; and fast break points: 8-0. The Rams also had a big 23-8 advantage in bench scoring.
For WSSU, Justin Glover scored his career high 31 points on 50% shooting, going 10 of 20 from the floor including two three's and going 9 of 14 from the free throw line. He also had four rebounds and a steal. WyKevin Bazemore finished with 15 points, six rebounds and two assists, and Joe Thompson came off the bench to add 10 key points and five rebounds. Wakefield Ellison added nine points and four rebounds, and Marcus Wells had five points, three rebounds, two assists and four steals.
Bowie State was led by Byron Westmoreland, the nation's leading scorer, who finished with 22 points (five below his season average) and eight rebounds. He also led the Bulldogs with seven turnovers. Ray Gatling contributed 17 points, while Najee White added 16 points and eight rebounds and Dameatric Scott added eight points and ten rebounds.
Winton-Salem State will host Virginia State University at 7:30 pm on Thursday night. Special ticket prices of $5 for admission will greet Ram fans for the first home game of 2013.