SALISBURY, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (12-14, 7-11 CIAA) closed the 2018-19 regular season on a high note when the team took a clutch 84-82 win over the Livingstone Blue Bears (16-11, 9-9 CIAA), Saturday afternoon. After falling behind late, the Rams bounced back in the final minutes to claim the win.
The Rams took the win after a terrific shooting performance. As a team, WSSU shot 50% (28-of-56) from the floor, including shooting 43.5% (10-of-23) from the three-point line. WSSU senior forward William Crandell led the way for the Rams with 22 points and seven rebounds while junior guard Robert Colon matched his numbers as well. Senior forward Jamel McAllister added 12 points while redshirt-sophomore guard Julius Barnes added 10 points. Senior guard James Rucker, II added 10 points off the bench as well.
The first half set the stage for the thrilling game as both teams battled for all 20 minutes of play. Though much of the half was close, the Rams were able to pull ahead for a nine-point lead when senior forward Jalyn McKoy hit a pair of free throws with 5:01 left in the half to go ahead 32-23. From there, the Rams found themselves fending off a comeback effort from the Blue Bears. In the end, the Rams were able to take a 39-36 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The second half told a similar story as the Rams built a solid lead before holding off a late comeback effort from the Blue Bears. The Rams allowed the Blue Bears to reclaim the lead, but the team had an answer later in the game. The Rams fell behind by as many as nine points before staging a big comeback in the final minutes of the game. Rucker, II hit a three-pointer that tied the game, 73-73 with a three-pointer with 3:00 left to play. Barnes would give the Rams the lead once again with a four-point play with 1:44 left to play. The Rams went ahead by as many as five points in the final minutes of the game before the Rams played some clutch defense and hit some key free throws in the final minute of play to claim the victory.
With the win, the Rams closed the 2018-19 regular season with a 12-14 overall record and a 7-11 record in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The Rams also finish the season in third place I the CIAA Southern Division. The Rams will now await seeding for the 2019 CIAA Men's Basketball Championship Tournament. 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.