|Marquez Jones scored 21 points in the second half. (Garrett Garms/WSSU photo)|
About mid-way through the second half, it looked like Winston-Salem State was just minutes away from it’s second straight CIAA Tournament Semifinal loss. But when the dust settled, WSSU sprinted past a fatigued Johnson C. Smith team for a 78-71 win, punching its ticket to its second CIAA Championship Game appearance in three seasons.
Winston-Salem State (18-11) will play Southern Division rival Livingstone for the CIAA Championship Saturday at 8:30 p.m. in Time Warner Cable Arena.
The Golden Bulls led by as many as 16 points with under 11 minutes to go in the game before the Rams mounted their stunning comeback. They finished the game on a 35-12 run keyed by Marquez Jones and Preston Ross.
Jones scored 21 of his game-high 29 points in the second half, putting the Rams over the top with back-to-back three pointers in with under five minutes remaining. Ross scored nine of his 16 points in the second half, and also hit several clutch free-throws to keep the Golden Bulls at bay.
Emilio Parks led Johnson C. Smith with 22 points, but scored just six points after halftime as JCSU was held to just one field goal in the game’s final seven minutes.