Dalton State Gets Back On Track With Win Over Florida College
Friday, January 11, 2019 - by Erik Simpson
Dalton State washed away their defeat at the hands of Middle Georgia last game and pulled out a solid SSAC win with a 93-84 victory over visiting Florida College at Mashburn Arena on Thursday night.
Dalton State was confident in their game plan after a solid week of practice and it showed early as the Roadrunners built an 8-2 lead. Florida College battled tough and cut the lead to one, 12-11, with 14:03 to play in the half.
The pace and intensity began to pick up as the teams traded or shared the lead five times over the next four minutes of play.
With the score tied 18-18, Randy Bell drove to the hole for a tough bucket and a foul. The three-point play kick started Dalton State as they went on a 15-3 run that saw them take command of the first half with a 32-20 lead.
The boys in white would not let up and kept forcing the Falcons into mistakes while taking advantage on the offensive end. With 3:47 remaining in the half, Dalton State had stretched the lead to 15 points at 39-24 after an Elijah Staley bucket in the paint. Both squads traded baskets going into the break, but Dalton State would hold on to a 15-point lead, 46-31 going into the break.
Each team matched the other bucket-for-bucket to begin the half. After three minutes had expired, Dalton State still held a 14-point lead at 55-41. The pace remained fast with Florida College pushing the ball. The Falcons began to heat up from the floor and with five straight points before the under 12-minute media had shaved the Roadrunner lead to eight, 60-52.
The Falcons came out of the media timeout firing on all cylinders from behind the arc. They turned a 5-0 run into a 16-4 run to get back into the game at 64-58. A nice layup from D'Anfernee Pugh capped the run, but Florida College continued to answer. When the under 6-minute media TO came with 4:58 remaining the Roadrunners held a 73-69 advantage. From media timeout to media timeout the Falcons outscored Dalton State 19-11.
Out of the break, Sean Cranney answered the bell with a much needed three-pointer to put Dalton State up 76-69. The Roadrunners continued to be efficient from the field, but the Falcons continued to knock down treys. A Kent Hegarty three got the lead down to four at 78-74, but another Cranney three and a transition basket from Kingston Frazier stretched the lead back out to eight, 85-77.
Four-straight points from Florida College cut the lead back to four, but Cranney answered with four free throws of his own. With time winding down and with the score 89-81, the Falcons would commit an offensive blunder that Elijah Staley made them pay for at the charity stripe to extend the lead to 10 with under a minute to play. The Roadrunners iced the game from the free throw line down the stretch and held on for a 93-84 win.
Dalton State improves to (9-6 overall, 4-3 SSAC) with the win, while Florida College falls to (9-6 overall, 3-4 SSAC) with the loss. The Roadrunners were led in scoring by Sean Cranney with 23 points. He was the difference maker down the stretch going 5-of-8 from behind the arc and 6-of-6 from the charity stripe.
Elijah Staley was right behind with 20 points and added four rebounds. Sean Chislom finished with 17 points and almost completed the double-double with nine boards. Randy Bell was the last Roadrunner in double-figures with 13 points.
Jacob Roark and Matt Simpson led Florida College with 14 points each. Simpson added five rebounds and Roark added four. Kent Hegarty, Andrew Voss, and Stefan Nakic-Vojnovic chipped in with 12 points apiece to give the Falcons five scorers in double-figures. Voss notched seven boards, with Hegarty nailing four three-pointers.
The Falcons went what seemed like lights out from three in the second half going 7-of-15 (46.7%). For the game they connected on 12-of-34. It would get them back into the contest, but Dalton State forced 15 turnovers and scored 16 points to counter the attack. The Roadrunners turned the ball over a season low six times and out-scored the Falcons 19-9 on second chance points.
Dalton State will be back in action on Saturday, January 12 when they take on Brewton-Parker. Tip-Off is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Fans, remember to bring a non-perishable food item to the game for a FREE General Admission ticket. Supplies are sure to run out so be early to get your ticket.