WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams (9-11, 4-7 CIAA) played a solid game, but a late drought cost the team in a 63-50 road loss to the Virginia Union Panthers (12-9, 8-3 CIAA), Monday evening. The Rams played some solid defense in the game, but the team managed just 21 second half points in the tough loss.
As a team, the Rams played a strong game overall. The team shot 34.8% (16-of-46) from the floor in Barco-Stevens Hall, but the team was overpowered in the paint with the Panthers scoring 30 points in the paint and holding a 42-26 rebounding advantage over the Rams. WSSU junior Robert Colon led the way for the Rams with 12 points in the game while junior forward Mason Harrell continued his strong play recently with 10 points. Senior forward Jalyn McKoy led the team's rebounding performance with eight rebounds in the game.
The Rams had a solid first half effort against the Panthers. After allowing the Panthers to come out to a hot start and allowing them to take a 14-7 lead, the Rams came back in a bit way when a pair of Colon free throws with 10:36 capped a 12-4 WSSU run that left the Rams on top, 19-18. The lead was the Rams' first since the early seconds of the game. From there, the Rams would allow the Panthers to tie the game once again and kept them within reach until back-to-back three-pointers from redshirt-sophomore guard Julius Barnes left the Rams with a 27-24 lead with 4:27 left in the first half. The final minutes of the half belonged to the Panthers as they outscored the Rams 8-2 to take a 32-29 deficit into the locker room at halftime.
In the second half, the Rams could not quite find their way as they were never able to cut into the Panthers' lead. After falling behind by as many as eight points, the Rams answered with a three-pointer from senior guard Derick Brewer, Jr. with 12:09 left to play. The score left the Rams trailing, 47-41. However, the Rams would get no closr with the Panthers pulling away in the final minutes. WSSU was held scoreless fo rhte final 7:13 seconds of the game as a pair of Colon free throws turned out to be the final points of the game as WSSU allowed the Panthers to pull away for the 63-50 win.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 9-11 overall and 4-7 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The Rams will return to action, Thursday, when the team heads to Orangeburg, S.C. to take on the Claflin Panthers. 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.