ELIZABETH CITY, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (0-1) started the season with a solid effort, but it was not enough as the team took a 69-63 loss to the Elizabeth City State Vikings (2-1), Wednesday evening. The Rams were solid in almost every facet of the game, but the team came up short in the hard-fought loss.
As a team, the Rams had a solid overall effort. The team shot a solid 43.8% (21-of-48) from the floor, including shooting 35.3% (six-of-17) from the three-point line. WSSU junior guard Robert Colon led the way for the Rams with a game-high 20 points. WSSU senior guard James Rucker, II added nine points with seven rebounds while forward Jamel McAllister added seven points with eight rebounds.
The Rams had a slow start to the game as they struggled to get points in the first half. The Rams managed just 25 first half points, but the team coupled that with a strong defensive effort to keep the Vikings within reach, trailing, 36-25 at the end of the first half. The Rams fell behind by as many as 17 points, 4-21 near the midway point of the first half, but the team stormed back to cut their deficit down to just 11 points, 27-16 after a Rucker, II free throw with 6:41 left in the half. The team struggled a bit more later in the half, but a furious last minute gave the team some life at the end of the half. After falling behind by 15 points heading into the final minute of play, the Rams stormed back as a three-pointer from junior guard Julius Barnes with just a second left sent the Rams into the locker room trailing, 36-25.
In the second half, the Rams saw a much better effort, but it was not quite enough as they took the tough loss. WSSU outscored Elizabeth City State, 38-33 during the half, but could not get the win. The Rams' comeback effort began near the midway point of the half as a Colon three-pointer with 9"23 left to play capped a five-point run by the Rams and pulled the team within six points, 52-46. Barnes would hit another three-pointer to cut the WSSU deficit down to four points, 52-49 with 8"49 left to play. The Rams would keep the game within reach as the Vikings never got more than nine points ahead for the remainder of the game. However, the Rams would not quite pull out the win an ended the evening with the 69-63 loss.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 0-1 to open the season. The team will return to action this weekend when they head to Atlanta, Ga. to take part in the SIAC/CIAA Challenge. For more information on Rams men's basketball, contact the WSSU Office of Atheltic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.