WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The #19 Winston-Salem State Rams survived a late rally and outscored the Bears down the stretch to hold on for a 69-66 CIAA Southern Division win on Wednesday night at the CE Gaines Center.
The win moves the Rams to 14-3 overall and 7-1 in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), while the Shaw Bears fall to 12-6 overall and 6-2 in the CIAA.
Sophomore forward, WyKevin Bazemore led the WSSU Rams with a season high 19 points, while also pulling down 10 rebounds. Senior guard, Justin Glover, added 17 points and freshman, Michel-Ofik Nzege chipped in 11 points. Wakefield Ellison had a solid game off the bench for WSSU, with nine points and seven rebounds. Marcus Wells added seven points, six assists and two steal for the Rams.
The Rams got off to a scorching hot start behind Justin Glover, Michel-Ofik Nzege and WyKevin Bazmore. WSSU jumped on the Bears to the tune of 16-2, before Shaw would storm back with a 12-1 run of their own to pull within three with 10:30 on the clock in the opening half.
Back to back three pointers from Wakefield Ellison and Justin Glover would stem the tide, but another big run from Shaw of 12-2 to close out the half, had the Rams on their heels with a slight 33-31 halftime lead.
Justin Glover would get the Rams off quickly with a dunk to start the second half, but Shaw would battle back to tie the game at 35-35 with 18:38 left. They would take their first lead at 38-37 and would stretch that lead out to six points, twice, lastly with 13:54 to play at 47-41.
But the sign of a good team is how the respond to adversity, and the WSSU Rams bowed their necks and played smothering defense to get back in the game and regain the lead at 48-47.
The two teams would battle back and forth and Shaw would take a 61-59 lead with 2:24 to play.
That's when Winston-Salem State would dig deep, and would finish the game outscoring the Bears 10-5 over the final two minutes to secure the 69-66 win.
Curtis Hines led Shaw with 20 points, while Latrail McCoy added 14 points. Andre Paulk came off the bench to score 10 points. Karron Johnson was held to 2 points and 2 rebounds before fouling out.
Winston-Salem State will travel to Fayetteville State on Saturday to take on the Broncos at 7:30 PM in Capel Arena on the FSU campus.