ERIE, PA - Winston-Salem State shot 57% from the floor and never trailed, as the Rams defeated the Barton College Bulldogs, 82-66, at the Hammermill Center on the Gannon University campus in Erie, Pa., in the 40th Porreco Cup.
The win moves the Winston-Salem State University Rams to 5-3 on the season, while Barton College falls to 4-6 on the year.
The Rams started hot fueled by four WSSU players scoring within the first two minutes, highlighted by a monster dunk from Brian Okam giving Winston-Salem State an early 9-0 lead.
Barton would respond with a 11-3 run to cut WSSU's lead to one, 12-11, before the Rams would regroup and go on a 22-10 run of their own to push their lead out to 13 points, on a three pointer from Tyre Desmore.
The Bulldogs would use another big run of 11-5 to finish off the first half by pulling to within seven points of the WSSU Rams at 39-31 heading into halftime.
Preston Ross got the Rams going in the second half with two quick buckets, mixed two free throws from WyKevin Bazemore to push the WSSU lead back to double digits. The onslaught continued with baskets from Brian Okam and a dunk from WyKevin Bazemore followed by a three from Marquez Jones to give the Rams a commanding 16 point advantage, 57-41 with 13:04 left to play.
In a game of runs, WSSU would go on another, a 12-2 run to balloon the lead to 26 points at 69-43 with just under eight minutes left to go.
Barton would give it one last valiant effort to get back into the game, and eventually cut the lead to 15, but time would run out on the Bulldogs and the Winston-Salem State Rams would go on to the 82-66 win.
WSSU held advantages in points in the paint (38-26); points off of turnovers (17-9); fast break points (10-8) and bench points (27-18).
Winston-Salem State was led in scoring by Marquez Jones, who finished with 20 points to go with three assists and three steals. Javan Wells came off the bench to add 15 points, while WyKevin Bazemore picked up his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Tyre Desmore chipped in nine points to go with a game high six assists, two steals and one blocked shot. Brian Okam had a solid night with eight points and eight rebounds to go with two blocked shots. Preston Ross added six points and two assists and William Peay and Kerry Campbell added four points each, with Campbell also picking up two assists.
Barton was led by Chris Flemmings who scored 16 points while pulling down six rebounds. Travis McEachern added 13 points and Evan Shelton chipped in 10 points and nine rebounds.
Winston-Salem State will take on Shepherd University at 7:30 p.m. at the Hammermill Center on the Gannon University campus in Erie, Pa., in the Championship game of the 40th Porreco Cup. You can follow the live stats at http://www.gannon.edu/athletics/men/basketba/lstats/XLIVE.HTM.