WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (4-8, 2-1 CIAA) got their second straight Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) win in dramatic fashion with 69-67 win over the Bowie State Bulldogs (5-8, 0-2 CIAA), Monday evening. After falling behind by as many as 18 points in the second half, the Rams staged a furious comeback, highlighted by a pair of free throws, a key block, and a game-winning drawn charge by junior forward Jamel McAllister to claim the win for the Rams.
The Rams took the loss behind a solid shooting night. As a team, the Rams shot 45.3% (24-of-53) from the floor. WSSU junior forward William Crandell led the way for the team with a double-double 22 points and 10 rebounds in the game while fellow junior forward McAllister added 14 points with seven rebounds.
The first half turned out to be a struggle for the Rams as the team could not keep up with a scorching hot shooting effort by the Bulldogs. After playing to a 13-13 tie with 11:49 left in the first half, the Rams fell behind by seven points, 31-24 with just under five minutes left in the half. The team was able to cut their deficit down to four points, 31-27 with 3:12 left in the half, but the Rams went cold in the final minutes, not scoring for the remainder of the half and took a 36-27 deficit into the locker room at halftime.
In the second half, the Rams saw their share of struggles, but the team clawed their way back into the game with a furious late run in the half. Things looked tough early for the Rams as the team fell behind by as many as 18 points, 45-27 with 16:45 left in the game. From there, the Rams chipped their way back into the game slowly and methodically. The Rams cut their lead down to single digits after a Crandell free throw with 7:03 left cut the WSSU deficit down to nine points, 57-48. From there, the Rams worked their deficit down to just four points, 65-61 after a three-point play from Crandell with 1:39 left to play. A steal and dunk from senior guard Xavier Mills cut the WSSU deficit in half, 65-63 with 1:29 left to play From there, the Rams were able to set the stage for a dramatic final minute of play.
In the final minute, it was all McAllister as he powered the Rams to the win after a series of clutch plays. He hit a pair of free throws with 41 seconds left to play to tie the game, 67-67. After a WSSU foul and a missed free throw from the Bulldogs, the McAllister hit another pair of free throws to put the Rams on top, 69-67 with 30 seconds left. He followed the effort with a block on the next possession by the Bulldogs. Though McAllister missed a pair of free throws on the next possession, he drew a game-winning offensive foul on the Bulldogs to erase a potential game-winning shot and free throw by the Bulldogs and sealed the win for the Rams.
With the win, the Rams improve to 4-8 overall and 2-1 CIAA play. The Rams will return to action in the new year when the team hits the road to take on the Virginia State Trojans on January 4th. 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.