Johnson C. Smith and Winston Salem State contest ends in bizarre draw
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Johnson C. Smith played to a draw (76-76) with Winston-Salem State on Wednesday at Brayboy Gymnasium. JCSU moves to 14-10-1 overall, 6-8-1 in the CIAA, and 3-5-1 in the division.
JCSU trailed 38-35 at the half. Winston-Salem State shot 45.8 percent (11-24) from the field, while the Golden Bulls connected on 54.5 percent (12-22) of their shots. Sophomore guard Joshua Linson had a team-high eight points at the break. Senior forward Antwan Wilkerson and junior forward Emilio Parks pitched in seven points each.
The Golden Bulls eventually grabbed a healthy lead with less than two minutes remaining. Senior forward Robert Williams made a layup with 1:55 on the clock for a 72-67 JCSU advantage. A pair of free throws from Marquez Jones and Preston Ross III cut the Rams' deficit down to 74-73 with 41 seconds left.
After a turnover and a foul, Jones was back on the foul line for WSSU. Jones missed the first, but made the second for a 74-74 tie. With just 23 seconds remaining, junior guard LaMarquis Letchaw penetrated the lane and was fouled with 8.7 ticks on the clock. Letchaw made both free throws for a 76-74 lead.
Jones launched a 3-pointer on the other end that was off target. Javan Wells grabbed the offensive rebound and scored the put back for a 76-76 tie with just 0.3 seconds remaining. On the inbound, Linson threw a baseball style pass toward the goal. The prayerful shot ended up hitting two light fixtures in the gymnasium. This resulted in one of the light fixtures swinging from the ceiling. Nothing more than an unsecured chain kept the light from dropping.
Both coaches and the officials agreed that the contest could not continue with the damaged lights. The contest was declared a tie; a decision will be determined by the CIAA conference office.
Linson concluded the contest with a game and career high of 25 points, along with five assists and three rebounds. He was 9-of-13 (69 percent) from the floor, including five three pointers. Parks followed with 18 points, four rebounds, and two blocks. Wilkerson had a double-double of 13 points, 10 boards, and two blocks.
Jones had a team-high 21 points for the Rams. Ross III contributed with 20 points, five rebounds, and five steals. Bazemore finished with 16 points and nine boards.