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Isaac Parson's clutch 3-pointer with three seconds left lifts WSSU to win over Elizabeth City State
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Isaac Parson's clutch 3-pointer with three seconds left lifts WSSU to win over Elizabeth City State

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Isaac Parson’s 3-pointer with three seconds left lifted visiting Winston-Salem State to a 56-54 win over Elizabeth City State on Monday night at the Vaughan Center.

It was the Rams third game in five days and also their third straight CIAA victory.

The Rams improved to 3-2 in the CIAA and 9-4 overall.

The Rams also welcomed back Coach Cleo Hill Jr., who was out of COVID-19 protocol after missing the last two games.

The Vikings, who were playing without leading scorer Zach Hobbs, fell to 3-3 in the CIAA and 10-6 overall.

The Vikings led 15-5 early and with 4:21 left in the half led 27-17 but the Rams outscored the Vikings 12-2 over the rest of the first half. The teams were tied at 29 at the break.

On Parson’s 3-pointer it was Xavier Fennell who made the pass from inside the lane. Fennell got the ball just at the free throw line and whipped it out to Parson who was wide open and made the game-winning shot.

The Rams shot just 30 percent in the first half and had 10 turnovers, but shot the ball a lot better in the second half.

Cameron Campbell led the way for the Rams with 17 points and nine rebounds and Parson had 13 points and four rebounds. Sa-mage Teel, who was the CIAA’s rookie of the week, had 14 points, six rebounds and two steals off the bench. Jon Hicklin, who struggled with nine turnovers in the win over Shaw on Saturday, came back to score seven points and pull down 10 rebounds.

“The road is the road,” Hill said about gutting out the CIAA win on the road. “It’s just tough but those two freshmen (Parson and Teel) just continue to work and produce.”

Despite going just 17 of 31 on free-throw attempts, the Rams still managed to win the game.

Hill said he went with his most versatile five players down the stretch which meant Hicklin, who has played a lot of point guard, was playing in the post. And Fennell was playing at power forward even though he’s only 6 foot 4.

“It’s a different era and there’s no dominant guys really in the post but I just can’t say enough about our core guys who were feeling it a little bit in the first half,” Hill said. “Coach (Ricky) Wilson reminded me they were playing their third game in five days and we were flat. But they did enough and fought back, so I’m just happy.”

Aryn Gibson led the way for the Vikings with 17 points and Jahmious Barnhill added 13 points and Jayden Beloti chipped in with 11.

Hill said that Parson works on his jump shot a lot and most mornings when Hill comes into his office he can hear somebody getting up some shots.

“It’s usually Isaac in there working and that’s great to see because here’s a freshman (he’s actually a sophomore in the classroom) getting that time management worked out and now he can see those results,” Hill said.

The Rams will be back in action on Saturday at St. Augustine’s at 4:30 p.m. in a key CIAA Southern Division game.

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@johndellWSJ

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