RALEIGH, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (8-7, 3-4 CIAA) fended off a furious comeback to claim a 63-57 win at Saint Augustine's (4-12, 1-7 CIAA). The Rams secured their first win at Emery Gymnasium since February 8, 2014 and remained undefeated in Central intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Southern Division play.
The Rams took the win behind some strong defense and they needed it to overcome some late offensive struggles to claim their win. The Rams scored just 63 points in the game despite shooting 47.9% (23-of-48) from the floor. The team was held to just 48 shot attempts. WSSU junior guard Robert Colon led the way for the team with 20 points in the game. Senior forward William Crandell added 14 points with six rebounds in the game.
Things looked good early for the Rams. After playing to a 6-6 tie, the Rams took control of the game with a 6-1 run that left the team on top, 12-7 after a lay-up from senior guard James Rucker, II with 11:41 left in the half. Over the next five minutes, the Rams allowed the Falcons back into the contest and tied the game, 16-16 with 5:58 left in the first half. WSSU would fall behind the Falcons, 22-20, but the team kept things in reach and went into the locker room tied, 24-24 after a pair of free throws from redshirt-sophomore guard Julius Barnes with 00:33 left in the half.
After a hard-fought first half, the two teams turned up the drama in the second half. The Rams took control of the half in a big way with a 13-4 run to go ahead, 37-28 after a lay-up from senior forward Jamel McAllister with 14:39 left to play. The Rams would take a 20-point lead, 56-36, after a three-pointer from senior guard Andrew Lopez. Unfortunately, the Rams would not record another field goal for the remainder of the game. However, the team played some top-notch defense and hit some clutch free throws to pull away with the 63-57 win.
With the win, the Rams improve to 8-7 overall and 3-4 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The team also improves to 2-0 in the CIAA Southern Division. The Rams will return to action, Wednesday when they host the Shaw Bears in a 7:30 p.m. game at the C.E. Gaines Center on the campus of Winston-Salem State University.
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.