Dalton State held the lead as time wound down but a buzzer-beater three-pointer from Stillman buried the Birds as the Tigers defeated the Roadrunners 71-69 in SSAC basketball action at Birthright Gymnasium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on Tuesday night.
It took close to two minutes for anyone to get points on the board with the Roadrunners striking first on a Carterius Evans layup.
Evans continued to carry the Birds early as he scored the first 5 points before Jaelin Ferrell knocked down a three-ball for an 8-6 DS lead with 16:08 remaining in the half.
Stillman held a 12-8 lead before a 9-0 run from Dalton State swung the advantage into their favor by 5 points at 17-12 at the midway point of the period.
The advantage steadily grew to 10 points (26-16) after a Trey Twa bucket at the 6:32 mark.
A few minutes later the lead was down to 5 points and continued to fluctuate between 6 and 9 points as the half drew to a close with Dalton State carrying a 6-point advantage (35-29) into the break.
The Tigers played inspired ball coming out of halftime opening the period with an 11-2 run to take the lead back (40-37) with 16:27 left to play.
With the exception of a few ties, Stillman held the lead and grew the lead to 7 points (61-54) with 6:57 remaining in regulation.
DS never let the game get out of hand and stayed within striking distance closing the deficit to 1-point on multiple occasions before eventually taking the lead (69-68) after two Donavan Miller free throws with 4 seconds to go.
After a timeout by Stillman to regroup, they charged down court with Derrick Finklea finding Tomias Brand for a three at the buzzer for a 71-69 win.
Dalton State (Ga.) falls to (4-4 overall, 1-2 SSAC) with the loss, while Stillman (Ala.) improves to (4-3 overall, 2-1 SSAC) with the win. Donavan Miller and Jacquez Fountain led the Roadrunners with 15 points each in the loss. Miller added two assists and Fountain pulled down 3 boards. Franklin Almonte added 10 rebounds off the bench.
Three Tigers scored in double-figures led by Tomias Brand with 20 points including the game-winner. Khalil Johnson had 17 points with Jamar Jackson adding 12 points.
DS held a narrow advantage on the glass at 36-35, while Stillman hit 12 three-pointers compared to 9 for Dalton State. Both teams accounted for 14 turnovers in the contest with the Roadrunners capitalizing with 22 points off the Tiger mistakes. Stillman was also good in the category scoring 20 points off turnovers.
Points in the paint was in favor of DS, 28-22, as was second chance points at 9-7. The game was fairly even from the floor with Dalton State shooting 44.3% (27-for-61) and Stillman at 44.8% (26-for-58).
It will be a short turnaround for the Roadrunners as they make the short trip to Marietta to take on the Life Running Eagles. Tip-Off from the Eagles Nest is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 1.