by Falcons Sports Information Department
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Feb. 9) – Saint Augustine’s University quieted a packed crowd at the Gaines Center with defense and Tyre Gathright (Sr./Wilmington, NC) as the Falcons toppled Winston-Salem State University 68-51 in a CIAA men’s basketball game on Saturday.
The Falcons limited the Rams to 36.7 percent shooting, including 21.1 percent behind the three-point arc. The Rams’ point total is a season-low for a Falcons’ opponent. It is also the Rams’ second-lowest scoring output this season.
Gathright provided the Falcons’ offensive spark as he scored a career-high 32 points on 12 of 19 shooting. The SAU senior made 7 of 10 free throw attempts as he topped his previous career-high of 31 points against Catawba College on Dec. 12, 2017.
The victory avenged an earlier defeat to the Rams at home on Jan. 19, 2019. In that contest, the Falcons nearly rallied from a 20-point deficit with 4:32 left in a 63-57 loss. They ignited a late run with pressure defense.
The Falcons followed the same formula in the second matchup between Southern Division foes. After falling behind 15-4 and 17-6 in the early going, the Falcons surged ahead by utilizing a press. The traps bothered the Rams as they went scoreless for four minutes. A three-pointer by Donte Edwards (Fr./Durham, NC) pushed the Falcons ahead 19-17.
From that point, the Falcons took control. Gathright poured in 19 first-half points, including seven points in the last seven minutes for a 28-24 SAU lead at halftime.
The second half was more of the same for the Falcons, who opened with a 13-3 run capped by Gathright’s three-pointer for a 41-27 lead. The margin stayed in double digits as the Falcons led by 15 several times before winning by 17. The Rams could get no closer than 10.
The Falcons shot 46.8 percent including 61.1 percent in the decisive second half for their second consecutive win over WSSU at the Gaines Center. Rashad George (R-So./Raleigh, NC) added seven points, five rebounds and two steals and Hirk Williams (Jr./Manassas, VA) contributed six points, six rebounds, four steals and two blocks in a yeoman’s effort.
Edwards had six points and D.J. Harrison (Sr./Winston-Salem, NC), playing in his hometown, finished with five points and 10 rebounds for the Falcons, who outrebounded the Rams, 35-26. The Falcons are 7-3 when they outrebound their opponent. They have won the rebounding battle in their last three games.
Robert Colon, the Rams’ top perimeter shooter, scored 13 points but he struggled from the floor, making 4 of 12 shots. No other player scored in double figures for the Rams (3-5 Southern Division, 9-13 overall), who lost their fifth straight game.
After playing four road games in eight days, the Falcons (3-6 Southern Division, 8-15 overall) conclude the regular season with two of their final three games at home. They host Shaw University at Emery Gymnasium on Saturday, Feb. 16, in the second matchup between the crosstown rivals this season. Game time is 4 p.m.