Roadrunners trounce Middle Georgia State 94-63 - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Roadrunners trounce Middle Georgia State 94-63

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DALTON, GA ( Thursday night crowd of 1,021 saw the Dalton State basketball Roadrunners jump out to a commanding lead and cruise to a 94-63 Southern States Athletic Conference victory over conference newcomers Middle Georgia State at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center's Mashburn Arena.

Dalton State out rebounded the visiting Knights 57 to 44. The Roadrunners only hit 57% from the foul line, but then only two starters were fouled. Ladaris Green hit 4 of 5 from the line and Preston Earle connected on 2 of 3.

With the game decided early on, none of the starters on either side played more than 26:29 of the 40 minute game. All 12 Roadrunners played and 11 scored. All 12 Knights played with 10 getting on the scoreboard.

All of Dalton State's starters hit in double figures. Preston Earle had a game high 17 points. He added three rebounds and two assists. Green and Jordan Bowling each had double-doubles. Green tallied 16 points, 13 rebounds and two assists. Bowling scored 13 and pulled down 13 boards. Sean Tate finished with 11 points and seven assists. Anthony Hilliard scored 10 and had three assists.

Jamaine Burrey and Dylan Smith came off of the bench to score nine points each.

"Our players are really buying in and working hard," said Dalton State Coach Tony Ingle. "We put a good game plan together and the players executed it well."

The Roadrunners had to come back from a nine point half-time deficit in an earlier game in Cochran. "We challenged the guys to not come out like we did at their place," said Ingle. "We really wanted to bring some energy and be ready to play. Boy we did. All of our starters had scored in about the first five minutes. Everybody had scored. Everybody had contributed. The thing you can always count on is our defense. Our defense is sensational."

Ryan Wilkins and Alyja Hennings led Middle Georgia State with a dozen points each. Hennings also led the Knights in rebounds with seven.

The Knights know that as a first year NAIA member they are not eligible for post season consideration and that can be disheartening. "People don't realize how good a basketball team that was tonight," said Ingle. "Being fair to them, we've been in a similar situation to the one they are in. they got to play a full schedule this year. We didn't get that luxury. I've been where they have been. The last two weeks of the year these kids are knowing that 'hey we are doing all of this and we're not playing for anything.' It's really hard to coach and to get them focused. You don't just luck into beating a team like that, but they're not playing for anything and we are."  

Coach Ingle pointed out that, with the Roadrunner win, Dalton State and (12) Martin Methodist are now tied on top of the SSAC standings. Each team has a 21-3 overall record and an 11-2 conference record. They are also both on a four-game win streak.

No. 8 Dalton State will host Martin Methodist in Mashburn Arena this Saturday at 7:30 pm. EST.  The visiting Redhawks have not played since beating William Carey last Saturday night 68-63.  The Roadrunners will be playing their third game of the week. "I just hope we can match their intensity," added Ingle.

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