FAYETTEVILLE, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (5-19, 3-11 CIAA) ended several skids when the team took a 67-64 road win over the Fayetteville State Broncos (7-18, 4-10 CIAA), Saturday afternoon. The Rams made several clutch plays to claim their first win of 2018 and their first road win of the season.
The Rams took the win behind one of their best performances of the season as the team shot 40.0% (20-of-50) from the floor and committed just nine turnovers in the game. WSSU junior forward William Crandell led the way for the Rams with 22 points and seven rebounds in the game while junior forward Derrick Farquharson added 17 points as well.
The Rams had a slow start to the game, but the team was able to climb back into the game by the end of the first half. The early going belonged to the Broncos as the Rams fell behind, 2-15 with a jumper from junior guard Jalyn McKoy serving as the team's only field goal of the first eight minutes of the game. The Rams would climb back later in the half with a 10-2 run that included a pair of free throws from junior guard Derick Brewer, Jr. free throws that pulled the team to within three points, 17-14, midway through the half. The Rams would fall behind once again by as many as eight points, but the team would not relent. The Rams clamped down on defense, allowing just one FSU field goal in the final four minutes of the half to claw their way back into the game. A Crandell dunk with 2:39 left in the half capped a 6-1 WSSU run and gave the team a 31-30 lead over the Broncos. From there, the Rams went ahead by as many as thre points before taking a 33-33 tie into the locker room at halftime.
As dramatic as the first half was, it was a calm one compared to the first half. The Rams opened the half with seven unanswered points to take an early 40-33 lead after a Farquharson lay-up with 16:50 left to play. The tables turned near the midway point of the half with Fayetteville State taking a 49-47 lead with 10:10 left to play. From there, the two teams kept battling back and forth with neither team going ahead by more than three points and set up a dramatic ending to the game. Fayetteville State struck first with a free throw that left the Rams trailing, 64-62 with 00:49 left to play. From there, the Rams scored five unanswered points with a Crandell three-point play followed by Farquharson free throw with 00:12 left to play that left the Rams on top, 67-64. From there, the Rams turned to their defense as they held the Broncos scoreless on a final three-point attempt that would have sent the game into overtime. With the defensive stand, the Rams claimed their first win of 2018 and ended their skid.
With the win, the Rams improve to 5-19 overall and 3-11 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The win does not move the Rams out of sixth place in the CIAA Southern Division as the team improves to 1-7 in divisional play.
The Rams will return to action, Wednesday, when the team heads to Charlotte, N.C. to take on the Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls. 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.