AVE MARIA, FLA (dsroadrunners.com) -- Ninth ranked Dalton State basketball (10-2 overall, 2-0 SSAC) began a three-game road trip Wednesday night with an 89-79 win at Ave Maria University (3-10).
The Gyrenes jumped out to a 26-17 lead, but the Roadrunners came back to tie the game at 29 and take the lead at 31-29. Dalton State never trailed again and led by as many as nine before the break. They completed the period, 42-34.
The hosts pulled to within five points a couple of times in the second half. The Roadrunners largest lead of the game came at 89-77. Jamaine Burrey led DS scorers with 17 points. "We could not say enough about Jamaine tonight and his leadership on both ends of the court," said Dalton State Coach Tony Ingle.
Jordan Bowling scored 16 while leading Roadrunner rebounders with 8. Jalen Robinson, the 6-9 senior transfer from the University of Dayton, came into the game with 12:35 remaining in the half and finished with 16 points and five rebounds.
Jordan Bowling had 16 points and led DS in rebounds with eight. Rudy Winters scored 12 and Marcel Hawkins scored the first six Roadrunner
points and ended the night with 8 points. Corey McDonald and Deshawn Ruffin each added seven points.
"It was great to finally have our entire team together," said Coach Ingle. "I was impressed with our shooting from Jamaine, Rudy and Jalen."
The coach added that the win was important on several counts.
"We have only practiced twice since our Christmas break on December the 19th and it really showed early in the game," he said. "Jalen, Rudy and Reed (Dungan) are great additions to our team but we need to become more cohesive from a team chemistry standpoint. We needed to have this road victory heading into SSAC conference play."
Dalton State hit 34 of 65 from the floor while AMU connected on just 25 of 55, but the Gyrenes hit 11 of 23 (47.83%) from three. The Roadrunners hit 61.90% (13-21) from the foul line, but Ave Maria made 75% (18 of 24). Points in the paint went the way of Dalton State, 46 to 24, and the Birds led in points off turnovers, 25-13. Each team had 30 rebounds.
Ave Maria's Brandon Dean had a game-high 26 points and nine rebounds.
Dalton State now travels to New Orleans for the first of two SSAC away games. Dalton State will be at Loyola (La.) Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ET.
The Birds then go to the University of Mobile (8-4, 2-0) for a 7:30 p.m. ET game on Monday, Jan. 4th. They come back home to Mashburn Arena on Thursday, Jan. 7th, to play Martin Methodist at 7:30 p.m. and to host Bethel at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9th.