BOWIE, MD –There was plenty of scoring to go around, but in the end, the Winston-Salem State Rams (5-5, 0-2 CIAA) could not quite keep up when the team took a 110-105 double overtime road loss to the Bowie State Bulldogs (5-6, 1-0), Sunday afternoon. The Rams took the loss in spite of a great offensive effort, but struggles at the free throw line proved to be costly in the hard-fought loss.
The Rams put on an impressive offensive showing in the game. As a team, the Rams shot 45.6% (31-of-68) from the floor in the game. However, the team shot just 65.4% ((34-of-52) from the free throw line. Five WSSU players reached double-digit scoring in the game with junior guard Robert Colon leading the way. He scored a team-high 34 points in the game while fellow junior guard Julius Barnes added 25 points. Senior forward William Crandell nearly pulled out a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds while fellow senior Jamel McAllister added 12 points. Senior guard James Rucker, II added 10 points off the bench.
The game was a high-scoring affair from the very beginning and it showed with a strong first half. A pair of Barnes free throws with 10:23 left in the first half gave the Rams their largest lead of the half, 28-17. The Rams held the Bulldogs at bay until late in the half when BSU tied the game, 39-39 with just under two minutes left in the half before allowing a late run and falling behind, 46-42 at halftime.
The second half saw another high scoring effort from the two teams, but things started slowly for the Rams in the second half. The team found themselves trailing by as many as nine points, 53-44 in the early minutes of the half. However, it was in the final minutes of the half that the Rams began a furious comeback effort. The team fell behind by 10 points, 76-65 with 4:39 left in the half. Colon hit a pair of free throws with 00:59 left to play that tied the game, 82-82 and capped a 17-6 WSSU run. From there, neither the Rams nor the Bulldogs would score again in regulation and the game went into overtime.
The first overtime was a close one with neither team pulling ahead by more than three points. The Rams held a 96-94 lead over the Bulldogs after a free throw from freshman guard Xavier Fenell with 00:25 left in the overtime, but Bowie State answered with a pair of clutch free throws of their own to send the game into double overtime tied once again, 96-96.
In the second overtime period, the Rams' comeback magic wore off. The Rams took an early two-point lead after a Crandell lay-up with 4:40 left in the game. However, the team allowed a 9-2 run by the Bulldogs to fall behind, 105-100 with 1:34 left to play. A Colon three –pointer and a Barnes lay-up at the buzzer turned out to be all that the Rams could muster as the team took the 110-105 loss.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 5-5 overall and 0-2 in CIAA play. The Rams will break for the holidays before returning to action in 2019 when the team hosts the Claflin Panthers in January. 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.