Winston-Salem State broke an eight-game losing streak to Elizabeth City State with a 64-61 victory on Thursday night in Elizabeth City.
The Rams (7-8, 5-2 CIAA) got a 3-pointer from Jon Hicklin late and a Jaylen Alston free throw with 54 seconds left, and that was enough to hold off the Vikings (10-7, 3-4).
Dantae Caldwell had a chance to ice the game for the Rams, but he missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity; Zack Hobbs of the Vikings had a chance to tie the game with a halfcourt shot, but it missed at the buzzer.
Robert Colon led the Rams with 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists with no turnovers. Hicklin had eight points and seven rebounds and Caldwell also added eight points. Mason Harrell had four points, five rebounds and four blocked shots.
“Mason was everywhere both on the offensive and defensive ends,” Coach Cleo Hill Jr. said by phone after the game. “And overall I just thought we were fully engaged there in the final four minutes and really hit some key shots when we had to.”
Alston and Melvin Huntley Jr. both returned to the lineup from one-game suspensions and played in the game for the Rams. Also, Justice Kithcart, who missed Monday’s game with flu-like symptoms, also played and scored five points in 13 minutes. Xavier Fennell missed his second straight game for breaking team rules, but Hill said he could play in Monday’s game.
The Rams shot 44 percent and were 8 of 19 on 3-point attempts.
“We are actually sitting in first place in the conference (in the Southern Division) so I guess I’m all for what they did with the CIAA schedule,” Hill said. “This is something that was hard earned and the guys responded.”
Thursday’s game was a makeup from the one that was postponed in December when the chartered bus taking the Rams to the game broke down near Rocky Mount.
The teams also played on Monday night in the Gaines Center in a designated nonconference game and the Vikings won 69-68.
The Rams' last win over the Vikings came in a 73-68 victory at the Gaines Center in the 2015-16 season.
“That’s a long time ago,” Hill said about the last time the Rams won against the Vikings. “I didn’t realize it has been that many games.”
The Rams will play again on Monday at the Gaines Center against Claflin at 7:30 p.m. The WSSU women will take on Claflin at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.