Coach Tony Ingle’s Dalton State basketball team upped their record to 17-1 Monday evening with a 74-69 victory over Spring Hill College.
The Badgers scored the first five points of the game. A three-point shot by Sean Tate gave the Roadrunners their first lead of the night, 9-7, with 13:37 on the clock. A few seconds later, Spring Hill regained the lead on a three from Alex Looney.
Dalton went up by six (24-18) with 7:01 left before intermission, but Spring Hill scored the next eight points to take a 26-24 lead. A three by Tyrel Edwards put the Roadrunners back on top.
The game went back and forth before Frederick Gatson hit a shot in the paint with five seconds left in the half to give the Badgers a 34-33 lead.
Dalton State went up early in the second half and took a 12-point lead at the 6:17 mark when Tate hit a lay-up, was fouled, and made a three-point-play out of it.
The Roadrunners hit 9 of 12 free throws down the stretch to preserve the victory, 74-69.
Dalton’s Edwards gave the home fans someone new to cheer for. Edwards, playing in his first game since being declared eligible earlier in the afternoon, came off the bench lead Roadrunner scorers with 16. The 6’5” forward hit 3-6 from beyond the arc.
Guard Sean Tate went seven of seven from the foul line to score 15 points. Tate also hit two of his three shots from outside. Ricky Sears, Erich Allen, and Preston Earle each added 10 points.
Demetrice Jacobs scored eight (3-4 free throws) and Anthony Hilliard five for DS.
“We have an unselfish team,” Ingle said. “On any given night, someone else comes through for us.”
“I’ve not seen such hustle on a Dalton court since I was playing here,” Ingle joked. “This is not my team, this is not the players team,” he added. “This team belongs to all of us. It’s a Dalton community team. It’s something that hopefully we can all continue to get behind.”
Monday night it was Edwards. He had just been declared eligible a couple of hours before tip-off. “He’s been practicing with us,” said Ingle.
He is a good student”.
The native of Hamilton, Ontario finished his high school career at Huntington Prep in Huntington, W. Va. He played his freshman year as a guard at Vincennes (IN) University.
Long time Roadrunner fans remember Vincennes as a junior college powerhouse. He averaged 12.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Edwards hit 51% from the field and 73% from the free-throw line for the Trailblazers.
The newest Roadrunner then saw action at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.
“It’s hard going through the process,” Ingle said. “Getting records from other schools and obtaining NAIA eligibility can be time consuming.” He praised assistant coach John Redman, Sr. Associate Athletic Director Richard Skeel, and faculty athletic representative Dr. Tom Veve for working long hours on compliance.
The work paid off Monday. “We’ve been working hard in practice,” said Edwards. “I am glad to be a part of this great team. I hope to help where I can.”
Spring Hill out rebounded the Roadrunners 42-37. Dalton finished with 63% free throw shooting (17-27) to the Badgers’ 76.5% (13-17).
The visitors played all ten and nine scored. Four reached double figures. Frederick Gatson had a game high 20 points and 13 rebounds, Robert Gipson 14 (4-5 from the charity stripe), Jarrett Calhoun 10, and January 28 at 7:00 Alex Looney 10.
Dalton State runs the winning streak to 13. The Roadrunners next action comes Saturday at 4:00 p.m. at Carver Bible College in southwest Atlanta.
Four home games remain on the inaugural four-year season for Dalton State basketball. They host Virginia Intermont College at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, January 13; Life University on January 28 at 7:00 p.m.; Allen University on February 1 at 4:00 p.m.; and Tennessee Temple at 7:00 p.m. on February 25.