RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 8) – Kasey Bryant (Sr./Raleigh, NC ) scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half, including a game-deciding three-pointer with 12 seconds left, as Saint Augustine’s University rallied to defeat Winston-Salem State University 63-60 in a CIAA men’s basketball contest at Emery Gymnasium on Wednesday, Feb. 7.
Bryant’s three-pointer capped an 8-0 run by the Falcons in the final 20 seconds to erase a 60-55 deficit. Tyre Gathright (Jr./Wilmington, NC) converted a three-point play, and on the ensuing inbounds pass, Bryant picked up the loose ball and buried a three-pointer for a 61-60 Falcons’ lead, their first since the opening moments of the first half. After a Rams’ miss, Craig McDaniel (Jr./Holly Springs, NC) hit two free throws with 0.5 seconds left to cap a huge comeback for the Falcons, who trailed by 16 points in the second half.
Gathright led the Falcons with 15 points and Ishmael Baldwin (Jr./Kinston, NC) pumped in 10 points for the Falcons, who stayed in contention for the Southern Division title with four games left. The Falcons are tied for second place with Shaw University at 4-2 with Johnson C. Smith University leading the division at 6-0.
The Falcons (12-11 overall) needed the scoring of Bryant, Gathright and Baldwin to wipe out a 40-24 second-half deficit for their third straight victory. Bryant rattled off nine points, including seven straight, during a 22-15 run to get the Falcons within 55-46 with 3:44 left.
Baldwin and Kenneth Collins (Sr./Clayton, NC) then went to work. A steal and three-pointer by Baldwin got the Falcons even closer at 55-49 with 2:15 remaining. After a Rams’ free throw, Collins buried a trey to slice the deficit to 56-52 with 51 seconds remaining. The Rams made two free throws but Baldwin canned another three-pointer to make the contest a one-possession game at 58-55 with 40 ticks on the clock. His bucket set the stage for Gathright’s and Bryant’s heroics.
With the victory, the Falcons swept the season series from the Rams, who lost their ninth consecutive game. The Falcons shot 46.8 percent from the floor including 48.3 percent in the second half when they climbed back ahead. For the contest, the Falcons scored 22 points off 20 Rams’ turnovers and 22 points in the paint.
The Falcons rallied in the second half after a tough first half. They fell behind 32-22 at halftime after committing 14 turnovers, which led to 15 points for the Rams. But the Falcons regrouped in the second half, forcing 13 turnovers for 18 points, to come out with a hard-earned victory.
William Crandell led the Rams (0-6 Southern Division, 4-17 overall) with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Derick Brewer, Jr. added 11 points and James Rucker II scored 10 points for the Rams, who shot 48.8 percent from the floor.
The Falcons will conclude their three-game homestand on Saturday, Feb. 10, against division leader Johnson C. Smith in a key contest at Emery Gymnasium. Tipoff is 4 p.m.