WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- Winston-Salem State University raced out to a 27-19 halftime lead and never looked back in route to a 68-61 win over Fayetteville State on Saturday night at the CE Gaines Center on the WSSU campus.
With the win, the #14 ranked Rams improve to 19-4 overall, 12-2 in the CIAA and 5-2 in the Southern Division. Fayetteville State falls to 8-15 overall, 3-11 in the CIAA and 0-7 in the Southern Division.
Both teams were slow out the box, with neither team scoring a point until the 17:21 mark when WSSU's Michel-Ofik Nzege knocked down two free throws to give the Rams the early 2-0 lead.
The Rams would push their lead to seven at 12-5, and eventually to double digit lead of 21-11 with just over five minutes to play in the first half.
Fayetteville State would scratch and claw and get to within six points, but two free throws by WSSU's Michel-Ofik Nzege would give the Rams a 27-19 lead heading into the locker room at the half.
Fayetteville State started the second half hot and worked the Rams lead down to two at 35-33 with 14:57 to play.
But Winston-Salem State would come back in a big way with a 10-0 run over the next five minutes to push the lead to 45-33. WSSU would continue to put the foot to the gas pedal and another run of 10-4 gave the Rams a commanding 18 point advantage, at 55-37 with 5:17 to play.
The Rams lead would stay at a comfortable margin until the final minute of play, when the Fayetteville State Broncos would make a furious rally to get the WSSU lead to single digits, but they would run out of time for WSSU's 68-61 victory.
Justin Glover led the way for WSSU with 19 points and three rebounds, while Michel-Ofik Nzege added 12 points, two rebounds and one blocked shot. Wakefield Ellison added eight points, four rebounds and three steal and Tyre Desmore came off the bench to chip in seven points, two rebounds, three assists and one steal. Kimani Hunt (2 rebounds) and Maurice Nash (4 rebounds) each finished with six points and Marcus Wells added a game high seven assists and three steals.
Tyrrel Tate led the Broncos with 17-points and eight rebounds, while Anthony Shelton chipped in 12 points and Devin Thompson finished with 11 points. Paul Lane added seven points and eight rebounds.
Winston-Salem State will host Johnson C. Smith on Wednesday at 7:30 at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum for Senior Night.