Sunday, December 4, 2016

WSSU rolls past Virginia Union

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina -- If coach James Wilhelmi can convince his Winston-Salem State team that every day is his birthday, it might never lose again.

The Rams, behind the inspired play of Willie Crandell, cruised to an 87-73 win over Virginia Union on Saturday night at the Gaines Center. It was Wilhelmi’s 46th birthday and he broke out his trademark bow tie, and his Rams broke out a can of defensive pressure that was fun to watch.

“I think it had more to do with getting T.J. Wilson back and Willie Crandell’s play than it had to do with it being my birthday,” Wilhelmi said about picking up the nonconference victory. “I’m just really proud of how the guys responded tonight, especially after the game the other night.”

While the Rams did get Wilson back after he missed two games because of an ankle injury, they did not have the services of Jamel McAllister, who suffered a groin injury in Wednesday night’s blowout loss to UNC Pembroke.

Picking up the slack was Crandell, who scored a career-high 33 points on 13-of-17 shooting. He added eight rebounds and two steals in the best overall performance of his two-year career.


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