A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
WSSU Season and CIAA Existence is Over
CHARLOTTE, NC- The Winston Salem State University Rams hopes of winning their final CIAA Tournament before they move on and up to the MEAC next year were not to be thanks to poor shooting and lots of turnovers losing to the Bulldogs of Bowie State University 71-67 in the quarter finals of the 61st Annual and emotional final CIAA Tournament for the Rams at the Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, NC. The Rams bid for a 11th CIAA Tournament championship was crush in the second half after a close first half, leaving the Rams, their fans and alumni and their 3 seniors to wonder how it got a way in the second half.
Neither team shot well during the game’s first 20 minutes of play as the two CIAA powers combined to miss 34 field goals during the first half of basketball. The Rams were however, committing turnovers often that led to easy points for Bowie State. The Rams shot a miserable 29 percent from the floor on 6-21 shooting and shot a horrific 20 percent from the floor on 2 of 10 shooting. They also commintted 10 turnovers leading to easy fast break points for the Bulldogs of Bowie State.
The Rams also couldnt stop the two headed monster of Bowie State’s Derick Payne and Ray Akinola. With crisp passing and a successful fast break Bowie State maintain the lead through out the first half. The Rams were led by one of their three seniors, Alleggrie Guinn with 8 points including a 3 pointer.
The teams came out firing from all over the floor and the score was close early. After a layup from Audly Wehner with an assist from Darrell Wonge, the Rams had an early 8-6 lead with 16:38 to play. The Bulldogs went on a mini 11-1 run after one of the stars for Bowie State, Ray Akinola made a basket and was fouled making the score 17-9. The Rams battled back with a 6-0 run of their own to cut the lead to 2 points at 17-15 with 6:20 to play in the first half.
The teams combined to scrore just 6 points between them over the next 3 minutes as the turnovers and poor shooting continued. The teams also continued to exchange baskets until the Bulldogs went on another mini run. With the score 26-24, the Bulldogs finished the half on a 6-0 run making the halftime score 32-24.
The second half seemed promising when the Rams started the half on a 16-8 run concluding with a jumper by Roy Peake making the score 42-40 with 13:17 left in the game. But the Bulldogs of Bowie State University would not be denied on this evening as they turned up the defense, got their transistion game going and buried shots when they needed to. The Bulldogs when on a 15-4 run concluding with two free throws by Ray Akinola after a turnover from the Rams Audly Wehner and a foul by Roy Peake, giving the Bulldogs a commanding 57-44 lead with just 6:54 left in the contest.
The Bulldogs lead would grow to 15 just over a minute later after one of the Rams seniors Alleggrie Guinn fouled the Bulldogs Derrick Payne for a basket and a foul making the score 61-45 with only 5:34 remanining in the game and the Rams final CIAA season. The Rams would cut the lead down to eleven points when junior forward Audly Wehner drove to the basket for a layup and called time out with 2:54 to play.
With the score 71-60, the Rams finished the game with a final 7-0 run to cut the lead to 4 ponts but in the end, it was too little too late as the clock expired making the final 71-67. The Rams finished the game shooting 41 percent from the floor and 38 percent from 3 point range. They also committed 17 turnovers that led to 25 easy points for Bowie State University.
WSSU did have 2 bright spots in their final CIAA game. The Rams were led by Senior Allegrie Guinn, who turned in a stellar performance for his final CIAA career scoring 27 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assist. Guinn finished his career with 1,535 points for his career and ranks him seventh on the Rams all-time scoring list. WSSU also got 23 points and 7 rebounds from Audly Wehner giving him 1,000 points and placing him ninth on the all-time Rams scoring list. No other player for the WSSU scored more than 6 points.
The Bulldogs of Bowie State had four players in double figures in scoring. Kevin Bell led the way with 18 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assist, Ray Akinola had 16 points including a perfect 2 for 2 from 3 point land and Thomas Hawkins and Magnes St Ange both scored 14 points.
The win for Bowie State sets-up a showdown in the semi-finals against Johnson C. Smith who defeated Virginia State University in the quarter round.