RICHMOND, VA – The Winston-Salem State Rams (1-6) just could not find any answers when the team took a tough 87-67 road loss to the Virginia Union Panthers (3-4), Sunday afternoon to close out the Thanksgiving Classic. The Rams struggled to put points on the scoreboard as they took the tough road loss in a non-conference match up against the Panthers.
The Rams had an especially tough day on offense in the loss. As a tea, the Rams scored just 67 points, the second lowest scoring output of the season. The Rams were held to shooting just 39.3% (20-of-51) from the floor while allowing Virginia Union to shoot 51.0% (26-of-51) in the game. WSSU junior forward William Crandell led the way for the Rams with 13 points and seven rebounds in the game while sophomore guard Robert Colon came off the bench for 13 points as well. Junior forward Jamel McAllister added 12 points with a block and two assists as well.
The struggles started early for the Rams. The team didn't score for the first four minutes of the game and didn't record their first field goal until the 14:56 mark when a McAllister dunk left the Rams trailing, 4-10. It was the first of a back-to-back run for McAllister who also added a three-pointer to cut the WSSU deficit down to just three points, 7-10 twenty seconds later. The deficit grew wider for the Rams as the half went on with WSSU falling behind, 8-23 with 8:45 left in the half. The Rams were able to cut their deficit down to nine points, 15-24 after a pair of free throws from senior guard Jason Payne with 7:22 left to play. However, as the half went on, the home standing Panthers pulled away from the Rams. WSSU found themselves trailing by 16 points, 21-37 with just two seconds left to play before Colon hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to leave the Rams trailing, 24-37 at the half.
In the second half, the Rams came out with a strong effort up front, but the team could not quite keep up with the Panthers late in the game. The Rams cut their deficit down to just eight points after a pair of free throws from senior guard Xavier Mills with 15:22 left to play left the Rams trailing, 33-41. From there, the Rams continued to push, but the team could not keep up with the offensive attack of the Panthers. After falling behind by as many as 20 points, 49-69 with 5:31 left to play, the Rams fought back to within 13 points, 61-74, after a Crandell free throw with 2:34 left. From there, the Rams could not get any closer as the team ended the day with the 87-67 loss.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 1-6 overall. The team will return to action, Friday, when they host the Bluefield State Broncos in a 7:00 p.m. game at the C.E. Gaines Center. For more information on Rams men's basketball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.