Late Struggles Cost Rams in 83-72 Loss to Catawba

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (1-4) got off to a good start, but the team struggled late in a hard-fought 83-72 loss to the Catawba Indians (2-2), Tuesday evening. The Rams gave a solid overall effort, but the team could not stop a hot-shooting Catawba that exploded in the second half.

The Rams took the loss behind a solid shooting effort in the game. As a team, the Rams shot 41.4% (24-of-58) from the floor in the loss while allowing Catawba to shoot 45.3% (29-of-64). WSSU sophomore guard Robert Colon led the way for the Rams with 22 points off the bench while junior forward William Crandell added a double-double 12 points with 11 rebounds. Fellow junior forward Jamel McAllister added 13 points as well.

Things looked good early for the Rams as the team controlled nearly the entire first half and took a lead into the locker room. The Rams took a 15-10 lead over the Indians after a three-pointer from McAllister with 11:41 left to play in the half. The Rams went ahead by as many as nine points, 27-18 after a pair of McAllister free throws with 5:10 left to play. From there, Catawba continued to chip away, but the Rams kept their lead intact. After a Catawba three-pointer with 00:26 left to play, Colon hit a jumper at the buzzer to leave the Rams on top, 39-32 at haltime.

The second half was a completely different with Catawba continuing a hot-shooting night. Unfortunately, the Rams could not quite get their offense into gear. The Rams allowed the Indians to score eight unanswered points to erase the WSSU lead and left the Rams trailing for the first time, 39-40 with 17:44 left to play. A Crandell lay-up with 15:26 left to play left the Rams on top, 44-42. However, it was then that the Rams fell victim to an 11-1 run by the Indians and fell behind, 53-45. The Rams fought to get back into the game, but the team was not able to get any closer than five points, 50-55 after a dunk from sophomore center Stephen Pippins midway through the half. The Rams' deficit grew to as many as 15 points before a late run left the team with the 83-72 loss.

With the loss, the Rams fall to 1-4 overall. The team will return to action, Saturday when the team heads to Richmond, Virginia to take part in the Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Virginia Union University. For more information on Rams men's basketball, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (33^) 750-2143 or log on to www.WSSURams.com.