By Dave Gordon
Not long after the start of Dalton State College’s men’s basketball game Friday against Morris College, the home crowd at the trade center was on its feet and cheering.
After 6-foot-9-inch junior center Raheem Mosley entered the game with 16:57 to go in the first half, the team began to take flight right along with him.
Mosley quickly converted a layup, and on Dalton State’s next possession Mosley took a Ricky Sears pass in the lane and slammed home a thunderous two-handed dunk, sparking the home team as they rattled off a 28-3 run en route to a 104-63 thrashing of Morris College.
Dalton State senior guard Demetrice Jacobs led all scorers with 18 points and grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds for the Roadrun-ners, who won for the seventh time in eight games to start the season. Sears added 17 points on 3-for-4 shooting from beyond the 3-point line.
The Roadrunners shot a scorching 80 percent from behind the arc in the first half, which surprised Dalton State coach Tony Ingle.
“That’s unbelievable,” Ingle said. “Eight out of 10 in the first half? That’s insane. I wish we could do that every night. The guys really played hard tonight. That’s one of the things we have been working on ... is to come out (playing that way). We have had so-so first halves lately but tonight we really came out and played hard right from the start.”
The home team eclipsed the century mark for the first time this season, something Ingle — who had Division 1 head coaching experience at BYU and Kennesaw State — said he hasn’t seen very much of.
“Not very often,” Ingle said. “We really got hot, and got them down a little bit. Then we fed the fire a little bit and it all worked out.”
Stoking the flame in the first half was Dalton State’s backcourt. The Roadrunners shot 61 percent from the field, led by the hot hands of Jacobs and Sears. They combined for five 3-pointers in the first eight minutes of play, pushing the lead to 28-3 at the 12:47 mark in the first half. Dalton State held a 59-35 lead at halftime.
The Hornets (1-6) cut the lead to 14 midway through the second half, but they couldn’t get any closer. It was Mosley again coming off the bench to get two quick points at the 13:20 mark for a 71-55 lead. That started a 22-3 run, pushing the Roadrunners’ edge to 91-58 with 5:14 left in the game.
Dalton State guard Preston Earle and center Nathan Terry both contributed 11 points.
“We just came out a little flat and they came out hot,” Morris coach Clarence Houck said. “ ... And we couldn’t come back from it. I’m proud of my guys for coming back in the second half and playing like they should have played the whole game.”
Junior guard Andreaus Canty led the Hornets with 18 points on 7-for-16 shooting.
The game was part of the Roadrunners’ Founders Club Classic. In Friday’s early game, Cumberland Univers-ity came back late to beat Voorhees College, 61-55. Cumberland freshman guard Marquel Hickerson had 22 points and 8 rebounds.
Today, Cumberland plays Morris at 2 p.m., with Dalton State taking on Voorhees in the second game.