LINCOLN, PA – The Winston-Salem State Rams (5-4, 0-1 CIAA) gave a solid effort late, but the team fell just short when they opened Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play with an 81-77 road loss to the Lincoln (Pa.) Lions (7-4, 2-0 CIAA), Saturday afternoon. The Rams played a solid overall game, but the team could not stop the Lions ate with they took the tough loss.
The Rams had a balanced attack in the game with five WSSU players reaching double-digit scoring in the game. As a team, the Rams shot 46.8% (22-of-47) in the game, including 50.0% (12-of-24) from the three-point line. Three Rams starters led the way in the game with 16 points each in the game. Senior forward Jamel McAllister, junior guard Julius Barnes, and fellow junior guard Robert Colon all tied for the team's scoring lead with 16 points each. McAllister pulled in a team-high eight rebounds as well.
The first half was a struggle for the Rams as the team could not keep up with the Lions. However, the team kept things within reach with a solid defensive effort. The Rams fell into a double-digit deficit, 34-24, late in the first half before a late 5-2 run cut the team's deficit down to seven points, 36-29 at halftime.
The second half saw a much better effort from the Rams, but the team could not quite pull out the win. A lay up from junior forward Mason Harrell tied the game, 59-59 with 7:53 left to play. Freshman guard Xavier Fennell hit a three-pointer with 7:16 left to play that gave the Rams their first lead of the second half, 62-61. From there, the Rams went ahead by as three points before allowing the Lions to surge ahead and to pull away for good. After falling behind by as many as eight points in the final minutes, the Rams made a furious comeback effort to cut their deficit down to just three points, 80-77 after a McAllister three-pointer with 00:18 left to play. However, the Rams would get no closer as they ended the day with the 81-77 loss.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 5-4 overall and 0-1 in CIAA play. The team won't have long to linger on the loss as they will head to Bowie, Md. to take on the Bowie State Bulldogs in a 4:00 p.m. game, tomorrow. 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.