WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (1-0) opened the 2017-18 season with a bang when the team took a 111-95 win over the Clarion Golden Eagles (0-1), Friday evening at the C.E. Gaines Center. The Rams took the win behind a balanced offensive attack to break out for the win with five WSSU players reaching double-digit scoring in the game.
As a team, the Rams had a great overall offensive effort. The team shot a scorching hot 63.9% (39-of-61) from the floor in the win. The team needed the hot shooting effort to keep up with a Golden Eagles squad that also had a strong offensive effort. WSSU sophomore guard Robert Colon led the way for the Rams with 23 points in the game, including going four-for-seven from the three-point line. Junior forward William Crandell added 18 points with seven rebounds. Sophomore center Stephen Pippins led the Rams' rebounding effort with 11 points and eight rebounds in the game. Jalyn McKoy added 17 points off the bench while junior forward Jamel McAllister scored 10 points in the game as well.
The game got off to a slow start, but both teams would soon find their shooting stroke in the game. For the first three minutes of play, neither team would manage a field goal before a McKoy lay-up with 17:05 left in the first half. The effort left the Rams on top, 5-0, however. From there, the Rams built a 15-11 lead before Clarion cut the WSSU lead down to just a point, 15-14 with 13:21 left in the half. The Rams would push their lead to as many as eight points, 26-18 with just under eight minutes left to play before Clarion cut the WSSU lead down to just one point, once again, 26-25 with 6:22 left in the half. The Rams would go ahead by as many as eight points, 37-29 with just over three minutes left in the half, but the team could not pull away from a feisty Clarion squad that pulled their way back to within four points and left the Rams on top, 44-40 at halftime.
The second half saw a much better shooting effort by both teams. The Golden Eagles cut the Rams' lead down to two points, 44-42 in the early minutes, but the Rams would never let go of their lead. Once again, the Rams surged to a 59-50 lead in the first five minutes. The Rams kept things going, pushing their lead to double digits, 75-65 with 10:14 left to play on a tip-in from junior center Chieck Kone. In the final minutes, the Rams broke away from Golden Eagles when a Colon three-pointer with 1:22 left to play gave the Rams a 108-91 lead. From there, the Rams simply cruised to the 111-95 victory.
With the win, the Rams improve to 1-0 on the season. The team will return to action, tomorrow with a 7:00 p.m. game against the Concord Mountain Lions. For more information on Rams men's basketball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log to www.WSSURams.com.