WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Winston-Salem State raced out to a six point halftime lead, and converted some big free throws down the stretch, as the Rams held off he Golden Bulls of Johnson C. Smith, 98-93 on Senior Day at WSSU’s CE Gaines Center.
With the win, WSSU improves is record to 16-8 overall, 9-6 in the CIAA and 7-2 in the Southern Division, and clinches at least a share of the CIAA’s southern Division title. Johnson C. Smith falls to 13-13 overall, 7-8 in the CIAA and 4-5 in the Southern Division.
The Rams scored first in the contest, as William Peay got WSSU going early with a three pointer, but it was the Golden Bulls who would answer right back and would take the lead that they would maintain for the first 10 minutes of the half.
With 10:19 to go before the half, Donta Harper would tie the game at 22-22 on an inside layup, and WyKevin Bazemore would give WSSU the lead on a follow up basket as the Rams would go out in front 24-22.
Johnson C. Smith would surge back ahead and go out in front by five points on two different occasions, before Winston-Salem State would use an 18-3 run to erase the deficit and go ahead by 10, at 55-45, before going into the locker room at the half with a six point lead, 57-51.
Winston-Salem State would pick back up with its solid defensive play, and pushed their lead back out to double digits by the 16:56 mark, before the Golden Bulls would battle back with a 7-0 run to get back to within striking distance.
Once again Johnson C. Smith would hang around and retook the lead with 6:17 left to play, 78-77.
The game would go back and forth with neither team being able to pull away.
But WSSU’s Javan Wells would hit big 3-pointer off a pass from Harper that gave the Rams a 94-91 lead with 1:18 left. That basket gave the Rams the lead for good, as WyKevin Bazemore and Terrell Leach would hit all their free throws in the closing minutes to give Winston-Salem State a key 98-93 win.
Winston-Salem State was led in scoring by WyKevin Bazemore, who finished with 25 points, 10 rebounds, two steals, one blocked shot and one assist. Marquez jones added 20 points, five assists and two steals, while Terrell Leach came off the bench to drop in 16 points. Donta Harper added 14 points, two assist, two rebounds and a steal.
Johnson C. Smith was led by Emilio Parks and Joshua Linson who each dropped in 26 points, with Parks also adding 12 rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots and two steals. Linson added three assists and a steal. Stedmon Lemon chipped in 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot.