Colleges

St. Aug Falls 68-56 to No. 24 Winston-Salem State After Late Rally

Posted February 10, 2013

— Saint Augustine’s University made a run to threaten late but No. 24th ranked Winston-Salem State University held off the Falcons 68-56 in a CIAA men’s basketball contest at the Gaines Center on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013.

The defeat snapped the Falcons’ six-game winning streak, but St. Aug (15-7 overall, 8-4 CIAA) kept their hold on first place in the Southern Division despite their first division loss. The Falcons hold a one-game lead at 5-1 over WSSU (17-4 overall, 10-2 CIAA), Johnson C. Smith and Livingstone with each team at 4-2 in the division. The Falcons and Golden Bulls meet up in Brayboy Gymnasium in Charlotte, N.C., for a key matchup on Wednesday, Feb. 13. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

The Falcons were led by guard Tyquan Stroman (Jr./Poughkeepsie, N.Y.), guard-forward Chris Johnson (R-Jr./Hampton, Va.) and center Jonathan Crawley (So./Richmond, Va.). They each scored 11 points for the Falcons, who almost rallied from a 19-point second-half deficit. A three-pointer by Stroman and two free throws by Crawley capped a 23-9 run and pulled the Falcons within 56-51 with 3:28 left. But the Rams finished with a 12-5 run to put the game away.

The Falcons couldn’t find their shooting stroke for much of the contest. They made 17 of 51 field goal attempts for a season-low 33 percent from the floor. One week after hitting 16 of 20 free throws in a nationally-televised win over Fayetteville State, the Falcons were 18 of 29 from the free throw line against the Rams.

The Falcons were 7 of 25 from the floor for 28 percent in the first half to fall behind 32-17 at halftime. The 17 halftime points were a season-low as well as the 15-point deficit at the break for the Falcons.

“We played our worst half of the year,” St. Aug Head Coach Lonnie Blow, Jr. said.

The Falcons shot a little better in the second half, making 10 of 26 shots for 39 percent, but WSSU was on fire. The Rams connected on 10 of 20 shots for 50 percent in the second half, yet the Falcons still climbed back in the contest and make it interesting down the stretch.

Trailing 47-28 with 11:42 left, the Falcons proceeded to chip away at the Rams’ lead. The Rams failed to make another basket until the Falcons had cut WSSU’s once insurmountable lead to a mere five points on two Crawley free throws. Stroman keyed the Falcons’ run with two big three-pointers.

“We started playing with more intensity in second half,” Blow said. “We got some stops and started making shots.”

The Rams finally scored on a layup by Marcus Wells (11 points), ending an eight-minute drought without a field goal. The bucket ignited the Rams, however, as they won going away. Justin Glover, who led all scorers with 18 points, knocked down a three for a 65-56 Rams’ lead with 1:20 remaining.

Guard Joel Kindred (Jr./Raleigh, N.C.) added seven points and eight rebounds in a reserve role for the Falcons, who grabbed 17 offensive rebounds which resulted in 17 points. But the Rams scored 26 points off 21 St. Aug turnovers.

Wakefield Ellison scored 17 points for the Rams. WyKevin Bazemore led the Rams with 13 rebounds while Johnson pulled down six rebounds for the Falcons.

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