MARIETTA, Ga. – The Dalton State basketball Roadrunners had double-digit leads in each half, but Southern Polytechnic State University (10-14) came back to earn an 11-point lead (88-77) with just over a minute to go in the game.
The Roadrunners (23-4) never gave up Saturday afternoon. They whittled away at the Hornets’ lead, but Southern Poly held on for the two-point win, 92-90.
“We fought all the way to the buzzer and that makes me very proud,” said Dalton State coach Tony Ingle. “I’m disappointed in our mental concentration,” he added. “I felt like we made too many turnovers on the offensive end and we had too many defensive lapses in the second half.””
Dalton had an eight point lead at the break, 46-38, but the Hornets dominated after the break, 54-44. “We had 14 steals at halftime to get us the lead,” said Ingle. “Our offensive execution and defensive game slippage really hurt us after that.”
LaDaris Green was in foul trouble throughout the game and played less than half the time before intermission. After the big night Thursday. Green was limited to eight points and six rebounds Saturday.
Preston Earle, who hit a game winning shot at the buzzer against SPSU in Dalton, also led the Roadrunners in Marietta. He had a game high 24 points.
Demetrice Jacobs had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Ricky Sears also scored 20. Tyrel Edwards added 13.
Dalton State was out rebounded 25-20. They only hit 47.6% from the field compared to 56.67% for the Hornets. Southern Poly’s Marcuas Dortch and Chris Key each scored 19 points. Kevin Phillip scored 15 and Chris Kingsberry 14 (all but two in the second half). CJ McElrath added 11.
Dalton State travels to Montgomery on Thursday for an 8:00 p.m. CST game at Auburn Montgomery. They then head to Brunswick for a 4:00 p.m. game on Saturday, February 22, at College of Coastal Georgia.
The final game of the season will be at home. The Roadrunners will host Tennessee Temple for senior night on Feb. 25. They will be honoring Ricky Sears, Demetrice Jacobs and Desmond Phillips.