Rams Push Past Morris College
Winston-Salem State's Men's basketball team overcame a four-minute scoring drought and eight-point deficit in the final seven minutes of regulation and survived a scrappy Morris College team to pull out a 76-71 overtime win in Sumter, SC. The game was nip-and-tuck throughout with 11 ties and 17 lead changes. Each team's largest lead was eight points. Graduate student Javonte Cooke led 'SU in scoring with 16 points and hit a critical three-pointer with 2:08 remaining in overtime to give the Rams a 70-69 lead. It was the only three-pointer of the night for WSSU. Seniors Jonathan Hicklin and Xavier Fennell each added 12 points. Redshirt senior Cameron Campbell scored 10 points.
Neither team could gain an early advantage with the game tied at 13 with 12:49 to play in the first half. WSSU went up 21-20 with 8:24 to play. Campbell's layup with 5:38 to go provided a 23-20 lead for 'SU. The Hornets forged ahead 29-23 before graduate student Alexander Reed hit two free throws with 2:25 on the clock to slice the Rams deficit to four points. Morris led 33-28 at the half. WSSU would secure its largest lead in the game, 54-46, on a Hicklin dunk with 7:28 to play in regulation. The Rams wouldn't score again until Cooke hit a layup with 3:39 to play. Cooke connected on a jumper with eight second to go to tie the score at 64, forcing overtime.
The Rams scored first in overtime on a Hicklin layup with 4:24 to play, giving 'SU 66-64 lead. The Hornets were ahead by two points when Cooke hit the critical three-point shot for a 70-69 advantage with 2:08 remaining. Cooke hit a layup and was fouled with one minute to play. He made the free throw and WSSU led 73-71. The Rams defense held the Hornets scoreless in the final 60 seconds. WSSU survived, hitting only one of six three point shots for a 6.3 percentage. The Rams were also 15-31 for 48.4%.
The Rams, who improved their record to 6-2, will take a two-week break for exams before beginning a CIAA three-game road trip on December 16. WSSU will play at Virginia Union, Lincoln and Bowie State before returning to the C.E. Gaines Center on January 6.