SALISBURY, NC — Winston-Salem State guard Samage Teal knew what to expect when he and his teammates reached New Trent Gymnasium on the campus of Livingstone College. A who lot of talking.
Teal and his WSSU teammates did some talking of their own — most of it with their games — the visitors emerged from the hostile environment with an 88-83 overtime win on Saturday night.
“We already knew they were going to be against us — and was going to be talking to us and all — but we just stayed levelheaded,” said Teel, who finished with a game-high 21 points. “We came here to win a basketball game. We didn’t come here to talk to nobody. We came here to win. That’s exactly what we did tonight.”
Teel came up big for the Rams several times, hitting a 3-pointer to give the Rams a three-point cushion with just under 20 seconds left in regulation, and then hitting two free throws to put the game out of reach after the Blue Bears forced overtime. The game was a back-and-forth battle for the most part, with 18 lead changes and 13 ties.
“The atmosphere, It was great,” WSSU head coach Cleo Hill said after the game. “It wasn’t Gaines — it the Gaines Center energy — but it was good. I thought for the most part we stayed together. The game was up and down, highs and lows with the guys, for the most part — they bent but they didn’t break.”
WSSU had five players score in double-figures, including a 16-point, six assist performance from Issac Parson. It was a bit of redemption for the second-year player who missed a potential game-winner in the same building a year prior.
“I just want to come back in here, execute, make sure my team stayed together and we pulled out with a W,” Parson said after the game.
WSSU shot a sizzling 53.2 percent from the field for the game and hit 9 of 19 attempts from the 3-point line, helping to offset their 54 percent free throw shooting.
Khyree Temple and Paul Tako paced Livingstone with 15 points each. Livingstone has now lost three of its last four and falls to 9-10 overall, 5-5 in CIAA play.
Winston-Salem State improved to 15-5 on the season, 7-4 in CIAA play.