The Dalton State basketball upped the season record to 20-2 Tuesday night with its 84-70 win over the (10-9) Tennessee Temple Crusaders.
The hosts led by three a few times early in the first half, but their final lead of the night was at 15-12 with 11:24 before the break. The largest Roadrunner lead of the half was 11 (30-19) at the 3:25 mark.
The Crusaders went on a 10-2 run and knocked the deficit down to three points (32-29) with 50 seconds left in the half.
The Roadrunners scored the final four points of the half to take a 36-29 lead into the locker room.
Dalton State came out of the break on all cylinders to build a 15 point second half lead with 17:39 remaining. Tennessee Temple kept fighting and pulled to within nine before the visitors took their biggest lead of the night at 84-65 with 66 ticks on the clock.
The Crusaders scored the final five points to reduce the margin to 14.
Earle hit 6-6 from the free throw line, Allen 4-4, and Tate 5-6. As a team, Dalton State hit 84% (21-25) for the night from the charity stripe. The Roadrunners hit 93.75% from the line in the second half (15-16).
“Our foul shooting was fantastic the second half, and we have really been doing lots of things to increase our percentage,” said DS Coach Tony Ingle.
Sears (3-6) and Jacobs (3-5) were each also hot from beyond the arc. “I felt like our team showed tremendous focus on both ends of the court,” Ingle said. “It was the first two halves we have put together without too much slippage.”
“I am proud of our composure tonight,” added Ingle. “That is largely due to the leadership of Sean Tate. He is so quick and smooth he sometimes reminds me of a squirrel playing on roller skates. DJ (Jacobs) and Preston hit some big baskets in the second half.”
Ricky Sears led Roadrunner scorers with 16 points. Sean Tate scored 14 and dished off six assists. Demetrice Jacobs and Preston Earle scored 13. Tyrel Edwards scored eight, and LaDaris Green and Erich Allen each added seven. Anthony Hilliard scored six.
“LaDaris was sensational at the defensive end and by alternating shots and rebounding we are a better team with him in the game,” Ingle added.
Green pulled down 14 Roadrunner rebounds, but the Crusaders had a slight advantage on the boards – 37-35.
Tennessee Temple’s Elliot Johnson had a game high 18 points and Weedlens Beauvil scored 14. Hampton Mack and Jordan Brown each added 10. Jarrett Smith had eight points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists.
Dalton State plays at Reinhard University in Waleska, GA Saturday at 4:00 p.m.