WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (4-18, 2-11 CIAA) held late lead, but the team could not quite hold up to a powerful offensive attack in a 79-69 loss to the Shaw Bears (16-8, 9-4 CIAA), Saturday afternoon. The Rams held a late lead over the Bears, but the team fell against a high-pressure defensive effort in the tough loss to the Bears.
The Rams took the loss in spite of a solid offensive attack for much of the game. As a team, the Rams shot a solid 46.3% (25-of-54) from the floor, but the team allowed the Bears to shoot a scorching hot 50.0% (26-of-52) from the floor in the game. WSSU junior forward William Crandell led the way for the Rams with 18 points and tied a team-high with six rebounds in the game. Sophomore guard Julius Barnes added 11 points while junior guard James Rucker, II added 11 points as well.
Things looked good early for the Rams as the team controlled the entire first half of play. After taking a 16-13 lead midway through the half, the Rams pushed their lead to as many as six points, 34-28 with 6:10 left to play in the half after a lay-up from Barnes. Shaw would tie the game, 42-42 in the final minute of the half. A Crandell lay-up at the 00:12 mark would cap the scoring for the half and left the Rams with a 44-43 lead heading into the locker room.
The second half told a similar story, but unfortunately, there was a different ending for the Rams. In the early going, the Rams and the Bears would trade one-point leads before a Barnes three-pointer with 9:50 left gave the Rams a 60-57 lead. The Rams would push their lead to as many as seven points, 65-58, after a pair of free throws from Rucker, II with 6:26 left. It was then that things would go bad for the Rams as the team was outscored 21-4 in the remaining six minutes of the game. The drought included the team recording only one field goal in the final six minutes of the game and the Rams finished the day with the 79-69 loss.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 4-18 overall and 2-11 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The Rams fall to 0-6 in CIAA Southern Division play and they suffer their 10 straight loss. The Rams will return to action, Tuesday when the team heads to Banner Elk, N.C. to take on the Lees-McRae Bobcats in a 7:00 p.m. 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.