The Dalton State Roadrunners saw an early lead evaporate, but a second half run propelled them to a 75-69 win over visiting Martin Methodist (Tenn.) in Southern States Athletic Conference action at Mashburn Arena in Dalton on Monday night.
Neither team could find the mark early with the first score coming on a Randy Bell hoop almost two minutes in. Two buckets from Sean Chislom mixed in with a trey from Sean Cranney made the score 9-4 in favor of the Roadrunners with 16:03 left in the half.
Martin Methodist got back to within two points at 9-7, but Dalton State exploded for a 15-1 run to pull out a 16-point lead at 24-8.
The Red Hawks battled back and had the lead down to 10-points at 29-19 with 5:55 remaining in the half.
A Chislom bucket at the 4:48 mark extended the lead back out, but the Red Hawks kept coming. Malcanee Mason started the surge with a shot in the lane. From there Jordan Olison and Javonte Cooper did rest. A Cooper layup with 50 ticks on the clock tied the game at 35-35.
Bell had a chance to take the lead for the Roadrunners, but his attempt went off the iron giving Martin Methodist an opportunity to take the lead. A foul on Cooper sent him to the line with five seconds to go. He made one of two shots to give the Red Hawks a 36-35 going into the break.
An Isaiah Blacksmith bucket opened the second period of play and gave MMC a three-point lead, 38-35. Malik Pugh came back down court and nailed a shot from distance to even it at 38-38.
After trading field goals, Dalton State started to open up a lead. It began with a Bell layup with 16:15 to go that gave the Roadrunners a 45-42 advantage. A Chislom field goal, along with four more points from Bell made the score 52-44 in favor of the Roadrunners.
Dalton State continued to add to the lead. An Elijah Staley layup with 8:49 to play gave the Roadrunners a 16-point lead, 62-46. The Red Hawks would not go quietly into the night and fought back yet again. A Blacksmith bucket in the paint trimmed the lead to seven, 69-62 with 2:41 left.
The Roadrunners answered the call late and got the lead back to double-digits with under 30 seconds to go. From there, Dalton State allowed the easy baskets that ran clock and hit their foul shots to come away with a 75-69 win.
Dalton State improves to (16-10 overall, 11-7 SSAC) with the win, while Martin Methodist (Tenn.) falls to (9-15 overall, 6-12 SSAC) with the loss. Randy Bell led a contingent of four Roadrunners in double-figures with 22 points, six rebounds, and six assists. Sean Chislom completed another double-double with 13 points and 10 boards.
Sean Cranney also had an impressive stat line with 18 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Elijah Staley was the last Roadrunner in double-digits with 10 points off the bench.
Martin Methodist also had four players score in double-figures. Dwayne Ward lead with 19 points and completed the double-double with 12 boards. Javonte Cooper had 12, while Jordan Olison and Isaiah Blacksmith each had 11 points.
The Red Hawks edged the Roadrunners on the glass, 38-35, but points off turnovers went the way of the Roadrunners, 11-7.
The Roadrunners will hit the road this week with their first destination being Temple Terrace, Fla. where they will matchup with Florida College on Thursday, January 14. Tip-Off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.