Dalton State's Basketball Season Ends With Tough Loss To Texas Wesleyan

Sunday, March 19, 2017 - by Sean Self
The #1-seed Dalton State basketball team ended their run for the national title with an 83-72 loss to#3-seed Texas Wesleyan in the quarterfinals of the NAIA National Championships in Kansas City, MO on Saturday night.

Texas Wesleyan were the first to establish a strong early lead as they held a 6-point advantage at 11-5 with 16:23 left. The Roadrunners would manage to shrink the gap to 2 points at 16-14 with 12:34 left, but would be unable to hold off the Rams offense as they would extend the gap back to 6 points at 25-19 with 9:07 left.
Dalton State would make a 7-0 run immediately after to take the lead for the first time in the half at 26-25 with 6:49 left. Both teams would struggle to find momentum as the score would remain tied at 31-31 with 3:59 left. The Rams would finish the half on a 5-0 run in the final two minutes to go into the break with the lead at 41-35.

The Roadrunners found their stride in the second half, and began to make key plays in the paint to shrink the gap to 1 point at 44-43 with 17:43 left. The Rams adjusted quickly, and made a 13-2 run to gain their biggest lead of the night at 12 points, 57-45 with 12:28 left. Dalton State would chip away at the lead with a series of accurate free throws to lessen the gap to 4 points at 57-53 with 10:19 left. However, the Rams offense continued to be on fire and would maintain a lead throughout the remainder of the game. Texas Wesleyan would go on to win the game 82-73.

The Roadrunners finish their season with a record of 29-5 with the loss. Dalton State had four players in double-figures with Isaiah Box leading in scoring at 20 points. Sayvon Wilson followed with 18 points, and Reed Dungan finished the night with 14 points. Carnilious Simmons proved difficult in the paint with 11 rebounds.

The Rams improve to 27-7 on the season with the win, and advance to the semifinals to face William Penn (Iowa). The Rams had five players in double-figures figures led by Dion Rogers with 22 points. Najael Young and Ryan Harris scored 19 points respectively, while Trevon Jeffery and Naiel Smith scored 10 points each.

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