WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (2-6) hit some big shots late to claim a 72-70 win over the Bluefield State College Big Blues (2-4), Friday evening. The Rams had a dunk and three key free throws in the final minute of play to claim their second home win of the season and ended a six-game losing streak with a two-point win over Bluefield State.
The Rams played a solid overall game, but the team worked hard to keep up with an aggressive Bluefield State squad. As a team, the Rams shot a solid 43.1% (25-of-58) from the floor for the win with sophomore guard Robert Colon leading the way with a game-high 20 points. Junior forward William Crandell added 17 points and seven rebounds while junior center Chieck Kone scored a career-high 13 points with seven rebounds in the game as well.
The first half turned out to be a battle for the Rams, but a late surge put the team on top heading into the locker room. In the early going, it was the Big Blues in control as turnovers plagued the Rams early on. Midway through the half, it was Bluefield State in control with the Rams trailing, 20-14 with 10:14 left in the half. It was Kone that would spark the Rams as the team worked its way back into the lead 23-22 with 5:18 left to play. Kone had three field goals and a pair of rebounds to lead the Rams back into the game, but it was a Crandell jumper that gave the Rams the 23-22 lead. From there, the Rams turned on their defense, holding Blefueld State to just one field goal in the final five minutes of the half and took a 31-24 win into the locker room at halftime.
The second half was a different story with the Rams and the Big Blues both surging throughout the period. In the end, the Rams were able to hit some key shots to claim the victory. Early in the second half, the Rams pushed their lead to 13 points, 41-28 with 16:13 left in the game. The Rams found themselves in a battle when Bluefield State tied the game, 67-67 with 2:02 left to play and set up a dramatic finish to the game. After a BSC free throw with 1:14 left to play left the Rams trailing, 68-67, it was Crandell who hit a clutch dunk with 00:45 left to play. From there, the Rams benefitted from a BSC missed three-pointer and a key rebound from Colon that sent the Rams to the free throw line for the first time in the final minute. Colon would hit a pair to put the Rams on top, 71-68 with 00:05 left to play. After a pair of BSC free throws cut the WSSU lead back to one point, Crandell hit another key free throw to leave the score 72-70. From there, the Rams just needed some clutch defense that held the Big Blues without a score and sealed the WSSU win.
With the win, the Rams improve to 2-6 on the season. The team will return to action, Monday when the Rams host the Claflin Panthers in a 7:00 p.m. game, Monday. 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.