DALTON, GA (dsroadrunners.com) -- The No. 9 ranked Dalton State (9-2 overall, 2-0 SSAC) basketball team wrapped up a long home stand Saturday with a hard-fought 61-59 win over the University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) at Mashburn Arena in the Dalton Convention Center.
"They are a very good basketball team," Coach Tony Ingle said of the Patriots. "They play good defense, they rebound well, they shoot good foul shots, and they pass the ball to get the ball to the right people at the right spots. It was a hard fought game for both teams. Either team could have won that game."
The Roadrunners have now won nine games in a row with seven of those at home. For the second consecutive game, tournament Most Valuable Player Marcel Hawkins hit the double-double. The junior out of Columbus, Ga. scored 16 points and had 10 rebounds on Saturday.
Indle said Hawkins left it all on the court. "He was just wore out," said Ingle. "He had taken a charge earlier in the chest with a knee and that knocked the wind out of him. He's a warrior. He kept battling and came up with some big plays late."
In just his second game as a Roardunner, 6-4 Rudy Winters from Cartersville scored 12 points Saturday. "He's so anxious to play. He gets out there and he gives us some size and he's quick," said Ingle. "He's more of a perimeter player, but he can play inside. He's a very versatile player."
Corey McDonald finished with eight points. Coach Ingle also had praise for the leadership of Jordan Bowling and Deshawn Burrey.
The Roadrunners won the battle of the boards, 46-39. They also excelled at the foul line, hitting 16-21 (78.2%), compared to UC's 11-22 (50%). The Patriot bench outscored Dalton State, 33-19.
The University of the Cumberlands (9-5 overall, 1-1 Mid-South Conference) was led by Temjae Singleton with a game high 27 points and 11 rebounds. Tre Boutilier had 17 points.
Dalton State now goes on a three-game road swing before returning to Mashburn Arena on January 7th to host SSAC foe Martin Methodist College.
The Roadrunners travel to Ave Maria, Florida (near Naples) after the Christmas break. Ave Maria University was founded in 2003 and the town were founded in 2007, both by the founder of Domino's Pizza. Dalton State's game against the Gyrenes from the NAIA's Sun Conference will be played on Wednesday, December 30th, at 8:00 p.m.
Dalton State then moves on to New Orleans for a January 2nd SSAC game at Loyola. Tip-off will be at 4:00 p.m. CT. The southern swing concludes on January 4th when they visit the University of Mobile at 7:30 p.m. CT.
In the Roadrunner Booster Club early game on Saturday, Cumberland University (Tenn.) defeated downed Wilberforce University (Ohio), 69-62.