SALISBURY, NC – William Crandell led three Rams in double figure scoring, and the Rams used the combination of timely shooting and the shock and awe defense, to come away with a key 78-74 win over Livingstone College on Saturday night.
With the win, Winston-Salem State improves to 13-13 overall, 8-8 in the CIAA and 6-4 in the Southern Division, while Livingstone falls to 10-16 overall, 7-9 in the CIAA and 6-4 in the Southern Division.
Winston-Salem State and Livingstone finished in a dead heat at 6-4 in the Southern Division, and because of the tie breaker system, the Blue Bears will get the second seed, and the WSSU Rams will get the third seed, and will face Virginia State University on Thursday evening at 9:00pm at the Spectrum Arena in next week's CIAA Tournament.
The game early was a back and forth game, with neither team being able to jump out to any sizable lead.
WSSU's TJ Wilson tied the game at 28-28 with 1:18 in the first half, and then Williams Crandell sank two free throws with 13 seconds before the half to take a two-point lead, 30-28 into the locker room at the half.
In the second half, WSSU would be able to take a five point leads, on a Williams Crandell layup and free throw on the and one, and Roger Ray would give the lead back to the Blue Bears at the 16:35 mark, with two made free throws.
The Rams would take the lead and push it to 4 points, on two free throw form Carlos Rankins to give the Rams a 46-42 lead.
Winston-Salem State would advance their advantage to seven points on an Ameer Jackson layup, to make the score 62-55.
Coming down the stretch, Xavier Mills would knock down two free throws with 3:15 left to play to give the Rams a 68-64 lead.
A Jamel McAllister free throw with 1:36 left, would give WSSU a 73-68 advantage, and the Rams would hang on for the 78-74 win.
William Crandell was beats inside, as he finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and two steals, while Ameer Jackson finished with 16 points and four rebounds. Carlos Rankins went for 10 points and two rebounds. Robert Colon added nine points, and Jamel McAllistser chipped in seven points and six rebounds.
For Livingstone, David Duncan finished with 11 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, while Emarri Bailey added 14 points and eight rebounds. Cameron Burhannon also finished with 14 points. Roger Ray added nine points and Darryl Bond added seven points and three rebounds.