WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Winston-Salem State used a fast start and got double figure scoring from four players to hold off Virginia Union, 91-84 in the Rams Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association opener at the CE Gaines Center at Winston-Salem State University campus.
WSSU started off hot, especially guard Marquez Jones who scored nine of the Rams first 12 points. A Javan Wells 3-pointer gave WSSU its largest lead of the first half at 10 points with a 27-17 advantage.
VUU would battle back and close the Rams lead to just one point with 2:50 left before the half, but WSSU scored the final three points of the half on a free throw by Brian Okam and a driving layup by Tyre Desmore to take a 37-33 halftime advantage.
The Panthers would come out of the half on fire and used a 7-2 run to take their first lead at 40-39. WSSU settled down and kept the pressure on VUU and pushed the lead back out to eight points with just under 10:00 left to play. WSSU extended its lead to 12– the largest lead of the night with 5:48 left to play, before Virginia Union once more would go on a run and cut the lead back to three points with 3:12 remaining.
Virginia Union’s Ray Anderson would try to keep the Panthers close with his hot shooting, but coming down the stretch the Rams were able to sink enough free throws and get a few easy baskets en route to the 91-84 win.
Marquez Jones led the Rams with 28 points, while Preston Ross finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds. WyKevin Bazemore added 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Javan Wells chipped in 16 points off the bench.
Anderson led Virginia Union’s effort with 24 points and eight rebounds, while Avery Jirmnson added 17 points and Te’Quan Alers and Omar Briggs each scored 11 points.