WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- The #24 WSSU Rams survived a furious late rally by St. Augustine's University to hold on for a 68-56 win Saturday night at the CE Gaines Center or the Winston-Salem State University campus.
The win moves the Rams to 17-4 overall, 10-2 in the CIAA and 4-2 in the Southern Division. With the loss, the Falcons fall to 15-7 overall, 7-4 in the CIAA and 5-1 in the Southern Division.
After St. Augustine's scored the games' first hoop, it was all WSSU Rams from that point forward, as WSSU raced out to a 12-5 lead halfway through the first half. The Rams would continue to press the gas pedal forward as they would increase their lead to 17 points at 29-12 with 2:29 to play before halftime.
SAU would cut into the lead by going on a 5-0 run, but Winston-Salem State would still manage to take a 32-17 lead into the locker room at the half.
WSSU would force the Falcons into 15 first half turnovers, in which they capitalized by scoring 18 points off of them, and also coming up with 12 steals in the half.
As the second half began, it looked to be more of the same for the WSSU Rams as they never missed a beat and continued to pour it on the Falcons.
But Saint Augustine's was not undefeated in the CIAA's tough Southern Division for nothing, and although the WSSU Rams' lead had swelled to 19 points at 47-28 with 11:42 to play, the Falcons never gave in to the raucous sellout crowd at the CE Gaines Center. The Falcons, over the next 8:30 minutes, would go on a furious 23-9 run to cut the Rams lead to a mere five points at 56-51 with 3:30 to play.
But head coach Bobby Collins would call a timeout that would help settle down his team, and propel them to victory with his coaching adjustments.
Winston-Salem State would finish the game on a 12-5 run to hold off St. Augustine's for a final score of 68-56.
Saint Augustine's was led by Tyquan Stroman, Chris Johnson and Jonathan Crawley, who each scored 11 points. Stroman had four rebounds, Johnson had six boards and Crawley also had four rebounds.
The WSSU Rams were in scoring by Justin Glover, who for the first time all season came off the bench and scored 18 points and three rebounds. Wakefield Ellison continued his stellar play since breaking into the starting lineup, by adding 17 points, five rebounds, four steal and an assist. Marcus Wells scored 11 points, pulled down five rebounds, dished out five assists and had one steal. WyKevin Bazemore was a monster on the boards, pulling down a game high 13, including eight offensive rebounds and adding seven points. Joseph Thompson came off the bench to chip in seven points, pull down seven rebounds and had a career high four steals.
Winston-Salem State will travel to Shaw University in Raleigh on Wednesday night to take on the Bears at 8:00 PM.