Roadrunners Knock-Off AUM 77-62 - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Roadrunners Knock-Off AUM 77-62

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DALTON,GA (dsroadrunners.com)---A Mashburn Arena crowd of 1,426 was on hand Friday night to witness the Dalton State Roadrunners trail most of the first half, but eventually win by 15. The largest Auburn Montgomery lead was five. The Roadrunners found themselves down by three at the half, 34-31.

Dalton State (14-2 overall, 5-1 SSAC) earned their first second half lead with 16:30 left in the game. A Preston Earle shot in the paint gave the Roadrunners a 41-40 advantage. Dalton would never trail again on the way to their 77-62 win.

A Jordan Bowling free throw and a three point shot by Earle put the Roadrunner lead at five (45-40) at the 14:40 mark. Two more Bowling free throws followed and a 47-40 lead. Another three by Earle put Dalton up by ten (50-40).

After the Warhawk's LeShawn Murphy hit a shot from the paint, Sean Tate answered with a three pointer for the 53-42 lead. Jamaine Burrey's three put the Roadrunners up by 14. Ladaris Green also found the basket from long range for a 17 point lead. AUM pulled to within 14 before Anthony Hilliard shot a three.

Dalton High product Tristen Harrell hit a three to make the score 61-47. After some back and forth scoring, a basket by Hilliard's shot in the paint gave the hosts an 18 point lead at 3:49. A three point shot by AUM's Murphy and then one by Dalton's Earle kept the spread at 18. The Roadrunner's largest lead of the night (20) came from two Bowling free throws.

The Warhawks (6-9 overall, 1-5 SSAC) scored the final five points of the game.

Dalton State dominated the boards - 55 to 35. They hit 81.3 percent from the charity stripe to AUM's 60 percent. From the floor, the Roadrunners were 27-70 for 38.6 percent while the Warhawks were 24 of 67 for 35.8 percent.

Earl finished with a game high 29 points. He was 10 of 18 from the floor, six of 11 from beyond the arch, and connected on all three free throw attempts.

"Both teams came out ready to play," said Dalton State coach Tony Ingle. "Even though they had a lead, we were not down a decisive amount. I feel like we got the ball to the right players in the right spot and at the right time. We just weren't knocking them down. Both teams were playing intensively in the second halve and our pressure defensive began to give them a little bit of trouble."

"Preston Earle got hot and the players found him and he was shooting it," added Ingle. "Once he gets hot the players love to get it to him and he LOVES to shoot it especially when you're hot. I told him if it feels like leather, shoot it. I've only seen him throw his tennis shoe to the basket one time. When the momentum started coming our way we just built on it. We had nine defensive stops and on top of that we were able to rebound."

Earle has started 2015 with a hot hand. Friday night's 29 points followed 27 against Life on Tuesday night. "I'm finally getting back in rhythm coming back from the break," Earle said. "We were struggling earlier, but we've just been in the gym practicing. We capitalized tonight. We had a lot of fast breaks, a lot of rebounds and capitalized on their mistakes."  
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