WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- The #23 Winston-Salem State University Rams raced out to an early lead and never looked back in defeating the USC-Aiken Pacers, 79-70 at the CE Gaines Center.
WSSU exacted some revenge from a little over a week ago, when USC-Aiken defeated the Rams in Aiken, SC.
The Rams (4-2) rode the hot hand of senior guard Justin Glover, who finished the game with a career high 30 points, while also snatching seven rebounds, dropped three and assists and had four steal on the night. WSSU finished with three players in double figures.
Winston-Salem State got the enthusiastic crowd going early when Tyre Desmore picked off an errant pass and raced down floor and finished with a monster one handed dunk over a USC-Aiken player.
USC-Aiken however, came right back and took their last lead of the game at 8-6 with 14:23 in the first half.
From that point forward the Rams took control of the game.
Justin Glover got going with back to back 3-pointers, followed by a Wakefield Ellison layup, and a breakaway slam by Glover to extend the Rams' lead to 16-8.
WSSU would continue with the hot shooting and smothering defense, and hit the boards hard, limiting the Pacers to just one shot. The Rams would extend tier lead to 18 points at the half, 41-23.
USC-Aiken would start the half quick and scored four quick points, but a timeout by WSSU settled the Rams down and they would go on a run of their own and stretched the lead to 24 points at 52-28 with 16:05 to go.
An 8-0 run starting at 12:05 for the Pacers cut the WSSU lead to 13, at 56-43 with 10:23 left. The teams would trade baskets before the Pacer got hot from the three point line late in the game, but could not overcome WSSU lead, for a final score of 79-70.
Besides Justin Glover's 30 point night, Michel-Ofik Nzege contributed a career high 12 points and eight rebounds, while Marcus Wells added 10 points, three rebounds, two steals and one assist. Joseph Thompson chipped in nine points and three rebounds, and WyKevin Bazemore added seven points and nine rebounds, to go with two steals. Wakefield Ellison added six points and four rebounds.
Ronald Zimmerman scored a game high 22 points, while Santoine Butler added 15 points and 11 rebounds. Jesse Seilem scored 11 points and Kinley Branch scored 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
"I thought it was a total team effort defensively tonight", said Bobby Collins of the win over USC-Aiken.
"We did a very good job in the first half of defending and getting steals and turning them into easy baskets", said Collins.
"I thought Michel-Ofik Nzege, Joseph Thompson and Wakefield Ellison came off the bench and gave us a big push. And what more can I say about Justin Glover. He was heroic tonight and everything he got came within the offense", said Collins.
Winston-Salem State will return to action on Saturday night, when they host the Wingate Bulldogs at 7:00 pm.