Dalton State Scores Big Road Win While Handing Martin Methodist First Home Loss
Tuesday, January 22, 2019 - by Erik Simpson
The Roadrunners traveled to a tough road environment in Middle Tennessee and came away with a big conference victory, defeating Martin Methodist (Tenn.) 77-72 in SSAC play at Curry Christian Life Center in Pulaski, Tenn. on Monday night.
The Red Hawks showed early offensive efficiency going 4-4 from the field including a three pointer to hold a 9-2 lead less than three minutes in. Raheem England and Sean Chislom did their part to get the Roadrunners started as they combined for eight of Dalton State's first 10 points to close the gap to three at 13-10 with 12:29 on the clock.
The Red Hawks got another bucket before the media break to hold a 15-10 lead.
Both teams came out of the media TO cold and unable to hit a shot. MMC would be the first to get points back on the scoreboard with five straight off of Dalton State turnovers to extend the lead. Elijah Staley got in on the act and collected seven consecutive Roadrunner points to help close the gap back to three at 22-19.
Dalton State caught a brief sniff of the lead at 23-22 with 3:24 on the clock when Randy Bell slashed to the hoop for two. Martin Methodist got the lead right back, but Bell put back a second chance basket to regain the lead, 25-24. The Red Hawks answered again with a 9-0 run capped by a Malcanee Mason trey to take an eight point advantage at 33-25.
As the clock wound down, the Roadrunners got free throws from Bell and Aaron Burress along with a three from Kingston Frazier on an assists from Sean Cranney to shrink the lead to four. With the shot clock off, the Red Hawks held for the last possession of the half. Jordan Jeffries got a shot off and sank it from deep as Martin Methodist went into the break with a 38-31 lead.
Malik Pugh started the second half off with a steal and a bucket, but the Roadrunners continued to trail. MMC countered with seven of the next nine points to take a 45-35 lead with 15:48 to go. Dalton State then warmed up, going on a 16-5 run to take a 51-50 lead.
MMC tied the game up with 8:08 left after Chike Augustine made the backend of two free throws, but Dalton State came right back and reeled off eight-straight points to retake the lead, 63-55. The offensive efficiency continued as the Roadrunners kept the lead in double-digits after baskets form Bell and Chislom. They cranked the lead up to 13 at 71-58 after two Staley free throws with 2:03 to go.
The Red Hawks, attempting a comeback, got six points-in-a-row to make it a five point game. With time winding down, Martin Methodist was forced to foul and try to extend the game. Staley and Frazier hit their shots from the charity strip, but things got interesting when Jordan Olison was fouled in the act of shooting with nine ticks left. Unfortunately for MMC, the Roadrunners hit their foul shots as they dealt the Red Hawks their first home loss of the season, 77-72.
Dalton State improves to (11-8 overall, 6-5 SSAC) with the win, while Martin Methodist (Tenn.) drops to (7-10, 4-7 SSAC) with the loss. The Roadrunners had four players reach double-figures led once again by senior Elijah Staley with 20 points and four rebounds. Junior guard Randy Bell followed with 17 points and dished out four assists. Kingston Frazier and Sean Chislom had 10 points each, with Chislom adding four rebounds.
Martin Methodist was led by the superb play of Jordan Olison with 23 points, five assists, and four rebounds. Malcanee Mason added 13 points and snagged six boards, while Dwayne Ward was the last Red Hawk in double-figures with 11 points. Ward also added seven rebounds to his stat line.
The Roadrunners dominated bench scoring 50-8 and scored 21 points off 16 Martin Methodist turnovers. Points in the paint were a wash with Dalton State holding a slim advantage at 42-40, but they hit 70.37 (19-of-27) from the charity strip compared to 48% (12-of-25) for the Red Hawks.
Dalton State lost the battle of the boards 37-35, but held MMC to just one three pointer in the second half after the Red Hawks nailed five treys in the first period. The Roadrunners got back into the game by shooting 56.7% (17-of-30) from the field in the second half, while holding Martin Methodist to 37.5% (12-of-32).
The Roadrunners will be back in the friendly confines of Mashburn Arena on Thursday, January 24 when they take on #10 Stillman (Ala.). Tip-Off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.