WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Winston-Salem State trio of Marquez Jones, WyKevin Bazemore and Preston Ross, II combined for 53 points and 27 rebounds as the Rams push their way past the Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls 81-69 on Thursday night at the CE Gaines Center.
The game had been moved to Thursday night after the Triad area and much of the state suffered through a winter storm that forced the closure of the University.
With the win, WSSU improves to 12-8 overall, 7-3 in the CIAA and 3-1 in the Southern Division, while Johnson C. Smith falls to 13-7 overall, 5-5 in the CIAA and 2-2 in the Southern Division.
The JCSU Golden Bulls started quick and raced out to the earl lead before the Rams settled down almost four minutes in, and took their first lead of the night at 7-5 on two Marquez Jones free throws.
WSSU would use an 8-1 run over the next four minutes to increase their lead to 15-9 with just under 13 minutes to go in the first half.
The teams would play even for several minutes before the Golden Bulls would cut the lead to just one at 21-20, but the Rams would turn up the pressure and pushed the lead back out seven points with 4:00 before the half.
The Golden Bulls would mage to cut the lead to five, but eventually the Rams took a six points lead at 33-27 into halftime.
Johnson C. Smith started the second half on fire and forced the Rams into three turnovers as the Golden Bulls quickly tied the game and began to separate themselves from WSSU with seven point lead with 11:34 to play, at 55-48.
But over the next five minutes of the game, sparked by WyKevin Bazemore and Preston Ross, III, the Rams would go on a 15-2 run to seize control of the game.
Once again the Rams would enforce their will on the Golden Bulls, and another big run of 14-5 gave the Rams a 10 point cushion at 72-62 with 3:50 left to play.
JCSU would try to battle back, and managed to cut the lead to seven, but Winston-Salem State would finish strong en route to the 81-69 win.
The Rams dominated the boards, out rebounding JCSU 42-31, including a massive 19-9 advantage on the offensive glass.
WyKevin Bazemore led the Rams with 18 points and 14 rebounds, to go with three assists, three steals and a blocked shot. Preston Ross, III also finished with 18 points, while pulling down 10 rebounds. Marquez Jones added 17 points, and Javan Wells came off the bench to chip in 12 points, three rebounds and three assists. Brian Okam, Kerry Campbell, Tyre Desmore and Bryan Scott each scored four points. Desmore added five rebounds, three assists and two steal, and Okam added three rebounds. Campbell had two steals as well.
Emilio Parks led Johnson C. Smith with 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Robert Williams added nine points. Alandre Davis and Raston Brown each scored eight points.
Winston-Salem State will travel to Salisbury, N.C. on Saturday to face off with the Blue Bears of Livingstone College in another tough CIAA Southern Division matchup.