Buzzer-beater lifts Stillman to 71-69 win over Dalton State

Courtesy of Stillman Athletics

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – On a night that saw the game time moved up to beat the storms, Stillman College beat the buzzer and the Tigers stormed the court with a 71-69 Southern States Athletic Conference men’s basketball victory over Dalton State College.

Buzzer-beaters have become an annual tradition for the Tigers. With Stillman trailing by one, 69-68, and four seconds on the clock, Derrick Finklea pushed the ball up floor and fed Tomias Brandin the left corner for a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired. Brand’s third 3-pointer of the night and Stillman’s 12 of the game, pushes Stillman above .500 for the season, now 4-3 overall and 2-1 in SSAC action. 

Brand’s 3 pushed him to the top of scoring in the game with 20 points, ahead of Khalil Johnson‘s 17 points, including five 3-pointers. Jamar Jackson made four 3s to finish with 12 points. 

With no fans in attendance as a precaution due to severe weather, the first half seemed to be a bit of a lull for both teams. After six lead changes in the first eight minutes, Dalton State took the lead, 13-12, on a Jacquez Fountain 3. The basket came as part of an 18-4 run that gave the Roadrunners a 10-point lead, 26-16, with 6:32 to play in the half. Dalton State led 35-29 at halftime. 

Brenden Lankford-Johnson scored Stillman’s first four points of the second half after an opening basket by Dalton State. The Tigers used a 9-2 run to take a 38-37 lead on a Khalil Johnson layup three minutes into the half. 

Dalton State evened the scored three times over the next seven minutes, but Stillman maintained its lead. The last tie, 52-52, came as the result of another Fountain 3-pointer, but Jackson and Brand answered with a pair of 3s to give the Tigers a six-point edge. 

Donnavan Miller took over the game for Dalton State in the final minutes, scoring 12 of the Roadrunner’s final 15 minutes. Miller and Fountain each scored 15 points to lead Dalton State.

The Roadrunners took advantage of a 2:30 Stillman scoring drought to pull ahead on a pair of Miller free throws with four seconds left before Brand hit the winning shot out of a Stillman timeout. 

Almonte Franklin had 10 rebounds for Dalton State. 

Stillman (4-3, 2-1 SSAC) will travel to Brewton-Parker College on Saturday, Dec. 3 for its final road trip before Christmas break. Tipoff is 1 p.m. CST. 

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