Rams Drop Season Finale To Livingstone

Rams Drop  Season Finale  To Livingstone
February 26
00:00 2015

Rams lose, 86-83, still earn southern division crown

SALISBURY, NC – The Winston-Salem State Rams had four players to score in double figures, but it wasn’t enough, as the Livingstone Blue Bears fought back from a 19 point deficit to overtake the Rams 86-83 in the CIAA regular season finale.

Despite the loss, Winston-Salem State will grab the No.1 seed from the Southern Division based on point differential between the two games against Livingstone this season. WSSU defeated the Blue Bears won 89-80 in Winston-Salem on Jan. 31, and the Blue Bears won 83-80 in Salisbury, thus giving the Rams the edge.

This was a heavyweight battle that lived up to all the hype, as the Rams were able to take control of the game early, jumping out to a 7-2 lead, before the Blue Bears would fight back to cut into the WSSU lead.

WSSU led the contest until two Hakeem Jackson free throws with 11 minutes to play in the first half, gave Livingstone their first lead of the night at 22-20.

The game would go back and forth the rest of the first half, before WyKevin Bazemore would break away from the pack and finish at the rim with a driving layup at the buzzer to give Winston-Salem State a 37-36 lead to take into the locker room at the half.

The second half began just as the first half ended with both teams scrapping and clawing until the 12:13 mark, when the Rams would seize control of the game.

With the game tied at 54-54, WSSU ramped up its defensive pressure and offensively got hot, as the Rams would use an incredible 19-0 run to go up 73-54.

During the run, WSSU got three pointers from Terrell Leach, Donta Harper and three three’s from Marquez Jones and a breakaway dunk from CJ Ford as the Rams seemed to have the game in complete control.

But the last seven minutes were the polar opposite, as WSSU went cold from the field and committed several costly turnovers to allow the Blue Bears to gain the momentum, and get back into the game.

Livingstone would finish the game on a 30-8 run, as Winston-Salem State last desperate attempts to tie the game on three pointers came up short, and the Blue Bears would hold on for an 86-83 win.

With the loss, WSSU falls to 16-9 overall, 9-7 in the CIAA and 7-3 in the Southern Division, while Livingstone improves to 16-9 overall, 10-6 in the CIAA and 7-3 in the Southern Division.

Winston-Salem State was led offensively by Donta Harper who finished with 22 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots, while Marquez Jones added 21 points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal. WyKevin Bazemore added 16 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and a steal. Javan Wells chipped in 10 points and four rebounds. CJ Ford and Terrell Leach each dropped in six points, with Ford also dishing out three assists and Leach adding two assists and two steals.

Livingstone was led by Hakeem Jackson who scored 21 points and four rebounds, while Eric Mayo added 19 points and 14 rebounds. Ty Newman also scored 19 points to go with six rebounds, and Eric Dubose chipped in 14 points.

Winston-Salem State will now regroup as they will get a first round bye in the CIAA Tournament, as they will face either Virginia Union, Shaw or Johnson C. Smith on Thursday night in the last quarterfinal of the day at the CIAA Tournament in Charlotte.

This is the first time the WSSU Rams have earned the Southern Division’s top seed since 2010, the first WSSU got back into the CIAA after its transition from going to Division I.

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