From Staff Reports
Monday’s loss won’t show up in the Dalton State College men’s basketball team’s end-of-season record.
But there’s definitely a difference between playing an NCAA Division I foe and what the Roadrunners are used to.
Dalton State lost 93-57 against Austin Peay State University in an exhibition game in Clarksville, Tenn.
Austin Peay (5-8) scored the game’s first 11 points and Dalton State (14-1) didn’t get on the scoreboard until Demetrice Jacobs’ 3-pointer 3:44 into the game. Travis Betran’s fast-break layup made it 23-8 Austin Peay with 9:17 before halftime, but Preston Earle’s 3-pointer brought the Roadrunners within eight, 23-15, at the 6:54 mark. Zavion Williams hit back-to-back 3-pointers a minute later for Austin Peay, which held a 41-24 halftime advantage.
The lead only lengthened in the second half as Will Triggs’ dunk made it 51-24 at 16:58. Williams’ 3-pointer at 5 minutes gave Austin Peay its biggest lead, 88-48.
Jacobs led the Roadrunners with 20 points and nine rebounds. Earle contributed 15 points. Sean Tate led with five assists. Leading scorer Ricky Sears was held to just four points on 2-of-13 shooting. Dalton State made 8-of-32 3-pointers (25 percent) .
For Austin Peay, Betran led with 24 points while Williams chipped in 17. Damarius Smith finished with nine points and 12 assists.
“Playing a D-I team is always a daunting task for any NAIA team,” Dalton State coach Tony Ingle said, “and although we competed and played hard we did not knock down shots like we normally do.
“ ... (Jacobs) was really the only bright spot from an individual performance standpoint.”
Austin Peay competes in the NCAA’s Ohio Valley Conference, which sends its tournament champion to the NCAA tournament each season. Dalton State is in its first year in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) since returning basketball to the college this fall after a 35-year hiatus. The Roadrunners have fared quite well against fellow NAIA opponents and currently possess a 10-game winning streak.
This is the Roadrunners’ second exhibition game against an NCAA opponent. A month ago, Dalton State lost 85-61 versus Jacksonville State.
Dalton State returns to NAIA opponents on Thursday for a home game at 4 p.m. at the trade center against Reinhardt University.