A sell-out crowd of 1,950 at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center saw the Dalton State basketball win in their first home game of the new four-year era.
The 68-46 victory over Hiwassee ran the Dalton State record to 4 and 0.
The Roadrunners led by 12 at the half (27-15) in a game that saw several first half lead changes. Dalton pulled out to a 27 point lead (65-38) on Dylan Smith’s fast break basket with 1:44 left in the game.
Nine of Dalton State’s 12 players got on the scoreboard. Preston Earle had a game high 13 points, including three of three from beyond the circle. Ricky Sears scored 11, Dylan Smith scored 10.
Demetrice Jacobs scored eight and pulled down 13 rebounds. Sean Tate and Dylan Smith each scored 6. Tate was 4 for 5 at the foul line. Anthony Hilliard scored 5 points, Raheem Mosley 4, and Desmond Phillips 3.
The Roadrunners out rebounded the Tigers 54 to 47. Shooting for each team was not what the coaches would want in the first half. Dalton State hit 32.43% from the floor and 20% from the foul line. They improved in the second half to 50% from the floor (54.55% from three point range) and 50% from the charity stripe.
In the first half, Hiwassee was 18.18% from the floor and 25%. They improved in the second half to 39.29% from the floor and 70% from the foul line.
Jeff Golden led the Tigers with 10 points and 7 rebounds. Joel Bailey scored seven. Four Tigers scored five points each.
Dalton Coach was glad to have breezer. It gave him a chance to play the subs. “It was great for the kids,” Ingle said. “It’s great to see the players who have been playing cheer the guys on. They are the ones who push each other in practice.”
Ingle said having the players support each other in games is part of the team building process that “just takes time.”
The Roadrunners visit Athens, Tn., on Friday night to battle NAIA Division II number 20 Tennessee Wesleyan (1-1) at 6:00 p.m.
Tennessee Wesleyan is predicted to win this season’s Appalachian Athletic Conference title. They shot 69% from the floor Monday night on the road, defeating Hiwassee 93-77.