ETTRICK, VA – The Winston-Salem State Rams (4-4, 2-2 CIAA) struggled to hit shots in an 84-78 road loss to the Virginia State Trojans (6-5, 3-1 CIAA), Thursday evening. The Rams put on a tenacious effort, but the team could not quite make the shots that they needed when they took a loss in their first road game of the season.
There was no shortage of effort for the Rams in the game. However, the WSSU offense struggled against the tough Trojan defense. As a team, the Rams were held to shooting 45.8% (27-of-59) in the game while allowing the Trojans to shoot a scorching hot 62.0% (31-of-50) in the game. On the bright side, the Rams had a balanced attack in the game. WSSU senior guard Robert Colon led the way for the Rams with 15 points in the game. Junior guard Glen Campbell added 14 points while redshirt-senior Dontae Caldwell added 12 points. Senior forward Mason Harrell and sophomore guard Jaylen Alston both added 10 points in the game.
The Rams' struggles began with a slow first half performance in the game. WSSU totaled just 37 points to open the game. The team's struggle began early when they fell into a 10-point deficit midway through the opening half, 26-16 after a jumper from junior guard Justice Kithcart. From there, the Rams clawed their way back into the game as a Caldwell three-pointer with 6:36 left in the first half cut the WSSU deficit down to just five points, 28-23. However, the Rams would get no closer as the team allowed the Trojans to pull away to take a 43-37 deficit into the locker room at halftime.
The second half saw a strong comeback effort by the Rams. However, the Trojans were up to the task. The two teams were evenly matched in the half with both teams scored 41 points each in the half. The Rams came out to a hot start when an Alston three-pointer gave the Rams a 49-48 lead with 17:59 left in the game. However, the Rams allowed 11 unanswered points to the Trojans to fall behind, 59-49 before a Colon lay-up broke the scoring drought for the Rams. The Rams would go on a later run as a Campbell three-pointer with 7:23 left to play pulled the Rams to within a point of the Trojans, 67-66. The Rams would not retake the lead, however, as they allowed the Trojans to pull away in the final minutes and took the 84-78 loss in the end.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 5-5 overall and 2-2 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play. The Rams will return to action, Saturday when they head to Richmond, Virginia to take on the Virginia Union 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.