WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (4-12, 2-5 CIAA) gave all they had, but the team could not hold up in a 93-82 loss to the Shaw Bears (10-6, 4-2 CIAA), Saturday afternoon. The Rams had a solid overall game with an impressive second half, but the Rams could not keep up with an aggressive and sharp-shooting effort by the home standing Bears.
The Rams took the loss in spite of a solid offensive game, but the team struggled to stop a hot shooting effort by the Bears. As a team, the Rams shot 42.9% (27-of-63) in the game with three players reaching double-digit scoring. However, the team allowed the Bears to shoot 53.4% (31-of-68), including shooting 55.6% (10-of-18) from the three-point line. WSSU sophomore guard Julius Barnes led the way for the Rams with a team-high 21 points in the game in just 26 minutes of play. He was six-of-eight from the floor and four-of-five from the three-point line. Fellow sophomore guard Robert Colon added 10 points while junior forward William Crandell added a double-double 17 points with 13 rebounds.
The first half was a tough one for the Rams as the Bears came out with an aggressive effort, but the Rams worked their way back into the game with some strong offense of their own. The Rams struggled early with the Bears going out to a 9-3 lead before a 7-2 run that was capped by a pair of free throws from redshirt-junior guard James Rucker, II that pulled the Rams to within one point, 11-10 with 14:45 left in the half. The Rams would claim their first lead of the game when junior guard Derrick Farquharson hit a three-pointer with 11:58 left in the half and put the team on top, 18-17. From there, the Rams and the Bears would go back and forth trading leads until the final minutes of the half. After a Barnes three-pointer with 3:56 left tied the game, 30-30, the Rams were outscored 13-5 in the final minutes of the half to take a 43-35 deficit into the locker room at halftime.
The second half told a similar story as the Rams continued to work their way back into the game. A Barnes three-pointer in the first minute cut the WSSU deficit down to three points, 43-40 with 19:03 left to play. After the Rams fell behind by as many as five points, Rucker hit another pair of key free throws to cut the WSSU deficit back down to three points, 50-47 with 15:30 left to play. From there, things got tough for the Rams as the team fell behind by as many as 11 points. In the final minutes, the Rams attempted a comeback, but the effort fell short in the tough 93-82 loss.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 4-12 and 2-5 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The team also falls to 0-2 in CIAA Southern Division play. The Rams will return to action, Wednesday when they host the Fayetteville State Broncos in a 7:30 p.m. game. For more information on Rams basketball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.