WSSU Overtakes Anderson University 67-44 With Solid D

By L.A.Batchelor
Updated: November 15, 2006

WSSUWINSTON SALEM, N.C. — The Winston Salem State University Rams were glad to finally be back home after three tough games in Fresno, California. Playing their first game at home, WSSU was seeking their first win after losing to Fresno State, Cal Irvine and South Alabama.

The Rams were also facing Anderson University, a Division II opponent they were meeting for the first time. Nothing like some good ole’ home court advantage and in-your face defense to get you on the winning track for the first time this season.

WSSU held Anderson to 28 percent shooting and forced 28 turnovers in an 67-44 victory that snapped their three game losing skid. It also gave Bobby Collins his first win as the WSSU’s head coach in front of a packed house of 3,200 fans at the C.E. Gaines Center .

The Rams came out in a defensive kind of mood showing a full court press, man to man defense and several other defensive looks forcing the pace of the game to speed up and taking the Trojans out of their offensive rhythm.

The Trojans run a Princeton style of offense, but could never get anything going because of the ball hawking in your face defense WSSU played against them forcing them to use the shot clock to get the ball up the court and forcing them into rushed shots.

Rams freshmen guard Brian Fisher, who had a solid game, got the scoring going with a 3 pointer to on the baseline to take an early 3-0 lead with 18:18 left in the first half.

The Rams outscored the Trojans 6-2 over the next two minutes and took a 9-2 lead after Jamal During drained a jumper with 16:30 left in the opening half. The Rams doubled their lead to 18-4 when Curtis Hines came off the grid iron onto the hard court to play hard and knocked down a jumper with 9:40 left in the first half.

The Rams continued to put the defensive clamps down on the Trojans showing multiple defensive looks and forcing more turnovers. They extended their lead to 18 points going on a 11-7 run after a smooth jumper from Brian Fisher making the score 29-11 with just over three minutes to play in the first half.

The Trojans did finish the half scoring the final four points making the score 29-15 at the half.

The second half began with both teams trading shots with the Rams lead between 11-14 points for the first four minutes of the second half and then the Rams extended their lead to 17 points.

Rams backup “big man”, 6-foot-7 Greg Lewis, showed a soft touch knocking down a jumper to give the Rams a 39-22 lead with 14:17 left in the game. After a three-pointer by AU’s Rande Sibley, the Rams went on another impressive run using tough defense, high percentage shooting and a slam dunk that brought the crowd to their feet to get their largest lead of the game.

Darrell Wonge took the ball at the top of the key and drove strong down the lane for a two hand dunk making the score 49-25 with 10:21 left in the game.

The Trojans looked fatigued, beaten and never got any closer than 20 points the rest of the game. After a layup by L.A. Sartor for the Trojans and then one free throw made by the Rams Patrick McCandies and Jason Smith, the final score was 67-44 in favor of the Rams.

The Rams defense was up to the task from the opening tip-off holding the Trojans to only 28 percent shooting including only 17 percent from the 3 point line. The Rams also forced an impressive 28 turnovers against the Trojans and scored 29 points off turnovers.

The Rams were led by Brian Fisher with 14 points, two rebounds and two assists and Jamal Durham with 13 points and four rebounds and played great interior defense the entire game. The Trojans were led by Josh Stanley with 11 points and 4 rebounds.

Coach Collins knew the Trojans were young and inexperienced so they try to take advantage of their youth especially on the defensive end.

“We knew exactly what we were going to see tonight. We knew that they had a relatively young team, and so do we, but we prepared a system to try to take advantage of their youth, absolutely we did”, Collins added.

“I usually let the guys play on offense a bit as long as they work hard on defense. We stress that defensive intensity, and it showed tonight, and paid dividends for us”

The Rams go back on the road on a five-game road trip beginning with a tough game when they travel to Auburn, Alabama to face the SEC Tigers on Friday at 7pm.