Written by Ryan Bartels
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Twenty-second-ranked Faulkner (13-8, 8-4 SSAC) battled out of a series of sizable defeats against No. 6 Dalton State (20-1, 10-1 SSAC) in this afternoon’s Southern States Athletic Conference battle here at Tine Davis Gymnasium, but the hot-handed Roadrunners took advantage of key turnovers and snuffed out the Eagle offense down the stretch to secure the 83-67 victory.
Dalton State trailed Faulkner 26-17 with six minutes remaining in the opening period, but orchestrated a 22-4 run, weighted by six 3-pointers, to cap the first half and enter the break armed with a nine-point lead.
The Eagles then clawed back early in the second half riding four consecutive 3-pointers of their own and found themselves within a single basket of the lead with 11 minutes to play.
Four Faulkner turnovers in under a minute set the tone for the rest of regulation, however. Dalton State continued to hammer home shots while the Eagles managed just four field goals in the reminder of the outing.
Dalton State shot 53 percent from the field and 40 percent from behind the arc and was led by Carnilious Simmons with 16 points and six rebounds.
Faulkner connected on 43 precent of its shots and shot 39 percent from deep-ball territory.
Logan Jozwiak led all scorers and knocked own half of the Eagles’ 3-pointers with a 5-for-8 showing to anchor his 17 points. He also had five assists and rebounds on the day.
Marquis Grays followed with 15 points for Faulkner and added a pair of rebounds.
“We had two bad runs in the first half and they hit some big 3s,” said Scott Sanderson. “Then we pulled it to 56-53 and then turned the ball over several times and they punished us. You have to have solid point guard play against a team like that and the last five to six minutes and we didn’t get that.”
Faulkner will next travel to Blue Mountain for an SSAC matchup with the Toppers in Mississippi on Feb. 2. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.