SALISBURY, N.C. – Marquez Jones and WyKevin Bazemore combined for 56 points and 16 rebounds but Winston-Salem State could not overcome the hot 3-pt shooting of Livingstone College, as the Rams dropped a CIAA Southern Division showdown, 101-94 at New Trent Gym on the Blue Bear campus in Salisbury, N.C.
Winston-Salem State would jump out to the early 2-0 lead on a WyKevin Bazemore jump shot, but that would be the last time the Rams saw the lead.
The two teams would play fairly even basketball throughout most of the first half, as the Blue Bears would push their lead to seven, midway through the half. But WSSU would scratch and claw their way back into the game and cut the lead to one three minutes later at 22-21.
But once again the Blue Bears would light up the three point arc, and with a little over two minutes left before halftime, Livingstone College pushed their lead to 10 and eventually would take an eight point, 43-35, lead into the locker room.
The WSSU Rams started the second half on fire, and by the 18:15 mark, had tied the game at 44-44 after two baskets by Marquez Jones, and one by Brian Okam and two free throws from WyKevin Bazemore.
Just as quick as the Rams tied the game, the Blue Bears would go on a 16-6 run to take a 10 point, 60-50 lead.
The Blue Bears would extend that lead to 15 points with 6:48 left to play, and looked as if they were about to blow the game wide open, but the inner fight of the Rams came through and they slowly began to try to ease their way back in the game.
It was the Rams big three combination of Marquez Jones, WyKevin Bazemore and Preston Ross, III took it upon themselves to try and will WSSU back, and they managed to pull within seven points, at 95-88 with 48 seconds left, and again at 97-90.
But eh rally would fall short and the Rams would fall 101-94.
With the loss, WSSU falls to 12-9 overall, 7-4 in the CIAA and 3-2 in the Southern Division, while Livingstone College improves to 13-6 overall, 6-4 in the CIAA and 3-1 in the Southern Division.
For the Rams, Marquez Jones scored a game-high 29 points, his 12th 20+ point scoring game of the season, to go along with a season high seven rebounds and two steals. WyKevin Bazemore continued his stellar play of late with tying a season high of 27 points, and nine rebounds. Javan Wells came off the bench to add 15 points, and Preston Ross, III added 11 points, six rebounds and a blocked shot, while Tyre Desmore chipped in nine points, six assists and three steals.
Livingstone was led by Jody Hill's 24 points, while Mark Thomas and Eric Mayo each scored 21 points, with Mayo also adding a team high eight rebounds. Eric Dubose chipped in 12 points.