Roadrunners topple Blue Mountain 77-64 - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Roadrunners topple Blue Mountain 77-64

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DALTON, GA  ( The 8th ranked Dalton State basketball Roadrunners maintained their lead in the Southern States Athletic Conference with a 77 to 64 win over visiting Blue Mountain Thursday night at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center's Mashburn Arena.

An official attendance of 985 saw the Toppers jump out to a five point lead (8-3 and again at 11-6 and 12-7) The Roadrunners fought back to tie the game at 14. Dalton State would never trail again on the way to a 13 point, 40-27, half-time advantage. Two minutes into the second half, Preston Earle's second three point shot of the half gave the Roadrunners their largest lead of the night, 47-31. From there, the closest the toppers could get was nine (47-38 with 15:21 remaining.)

"We came out better than what we did on the road," said Coach Tony Ingle. "It's not how you start. It's how you finish. The guys kept their composure when we got behind and, of course, we had the lead at half.  Ladaris Green was a hot man and got us started in the first half. Some other guys also made some contributions offensively."

"We came out with full court pressure in the second half," said Ingle. "Sometimes you do that to keep yourself going. It got us going and ready to play. Preston loves to press and he loves to get open. JB (Jordan Bowling) played big and, when it came time to spread it out a little, Sean (Tate) is a master."
"You've got to identify their rolls, they've got to accept the rolls, and they have to improve the rolls. That's where we are right now," said Ingle. "They know the roll, they've accepted it, and now we're working to improve it. We've got a lot of ball games left, a lot of time left."

The Roadrunner's Jordan Bowling had a double-double on the night with 19 points and ten rebounds. Green had 17 points, eight rebounds, six blocked shots and three assists. Preston Earle finished with 15 points (5-8 from beyond the arc), five rebounds and three assists. Sean Tate scored 11 including 9 of 10 from the free throw line. He also had six rebounds. Anthony Hilliard scored eight and three rebounds before fouling out.

The Roadrunners out rebounded the Toppers 45 to 33. Each team hit 81.8 percent from the free throw line, but Dalton had more attempts - 18 of 22 to 9 of 11. Dalton State connected on 11-27 from beyond the arch (40.7%) while Blue Mountain was 7-26 (26.9%) from outside.

Blue Mountain's Shane Butler had a game-high 24 points. Vladimir Filipovic added 22 points. Filipovic and Butler each had six rebounds. 

Dalton State (17-2, 8-1) will host (22) Bethel University (17-4, 8-2) from McKenzie, TN, at 5:00 p.m. Saturday. The game in Mashburn Arena will include Dalton State's homecoming festivities.

Blue Mountain (9-11, 4-7) will be back in Mississippi on Saturday to host Belhaven (7-15, 3-7).

After Saturday, Dalton State will be on the road for three games: at Brewton-Parker in Mount Vernon, Ga. on Thursday, Feb. 5th; at Coastal Georgia in Brunswick on Saturday, Feb. 7th and at Erskine College in Due West, SC on Monday, Feb. 9th.   After this weekend, the next home game will be on Feb. 12th.  

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