WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- The #16 Winston-Salem State battled back from a deep deficit late, but could not overcome the hot shooting of the Livingstone College guards and fell 75-72 to the Blue Bears in the CE Gaines Center on the WSSU campus.
The loss drops the Rams to 16-4 overall, 9-2 in the CIAA and 3-2 in the Southern Division. Livingstone College improves to 15-5 overall, 7-4 in the CIAA and also 3-2 in the Southern Division.
Livingstone jumped out on the Rams early to the tune of 9-2, before WSSU would get going to take their first lead with 12:01 in the first half with the score 17-14.
Both teams would trade baskets and the tempo increased, but the Rams, coming off of a tough road win at Johnson C. Smith on Wednesday, could not get things going and fell behind by seven at half, 41-34.
The Blue Bears started the second half hot and continued to pressure the Rams and stretched their lead to 15 points at 56-41, with 10:23 remaining.
Winston-Salem State would hunker down on defense and would battle back to within four at 63-59 with 4:31 left. The Rams would continue to pressure Livingstone and would take the lead at 72-71 with 50 second left on a driving basket by Justin Glover.
But the Blue Bears came right back with a driving layup of their own by Mark Thomas.
With WSSU trailing by two with 5 second to play, Justin Glover's 3-pt attempt was partially blocked but he was also knocked to the floor, but no foul was called.
WSSU head coach, Bobby Collins would pick up a technical foul, and LC made one of two for the final score of 75-72.
Winston-Salem State was led by Justin Glover's 19 points, three assists and two steals to go with two rebounds. Michel-Ofik Nzege added nine points and seven rebounds and Wakefield Ellison added nine points and four rebounds. Kimani Hunt came off the bench to chip in eight points and four rebounds, and Joseph Thompson scored six points and pulled down four rebounds, and Marcus Wells scored five points, had five assists, four rebounds and one steal. Tyre Desmore also chipped in five points and dished out four assists.
For the Blue Bears, Jody Hill scored a game high 23 points, including going 5 of 8 from behind the three point arc. Mark Thomas added 20 points and nine rebounds and Omar Ford-Bey chipped in 13 points. Tyler Johnson finished with six points and eight rebounds.
The WSSU Rams will be off until next Saturday when they host one of the hottest team in the CIAA in the Falcons of Saint Augustine's University. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM.