MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The only blemish on Faulkner’s conference record was a Nov. 21, 2019 loss at Dalton State. Thursday night inside Tine Davis Gymnasium, the Eagles would seek their revenge.
In a top 10 showdown between the now No. 4 ranked Dalton State Roadrunners and the No. 8 ranked Faulkner Eagles, it was Faulkner this time coming out on top, securing a 100-97 victory to clinch the Southern States Athletic Conference regular season title for the first time in 13 years.
Senior guard Nate Bradley and reigning SSAC Player of the Week CJ Williamson each dropped 21 points for the Eagles in the win. 4 of 5 Faulkner starters scored in double figures. Milan Skundric and CJ Jones each scored 16 and Garrett Sanderson pitched in 10.
Bradley and Skundric each knocked down critical free throws late in the game. Faulkner held a tight 98-96 lead with under a minute to play. Bradley was fouled while attempting a mid-range jumper. He knocked down 1 of 2 free throws at the stripe.
On the other end, Dalton State’s Rodley Adjei pulled for three to tie the game at 11 ticks on the clock and was fouled by Jones. Adjei would miss the first two free throws, but make the third to only cut Faulkner’s lead to 99-97.
Skundric was fouled immediately on the inbounds. He hit 1 of 2 on the other end to give the Eagles a 100-97 lead. The Roadrunners would call a timeout following Skundric’s make on the second free-throw attempt. Out of the break, they still needed to go the length of the court with 9 seconds remaining. They got down the court, were able to find an open CJ Perry on the perimeter who pulled the trigger on the potential game-tying shot but it rimmed out, handing Dalton State its third loss in both conference play and overall.
Faulkner saw its 15-game winning streak extended to 16 consecutive wins, improving to 9-0 at home during that streak. Its record now sits at 26-3 overall, and 16-1 in conference play. They have one game remaining, Senior Day on Saturday. That game tips off at 2 p.m.
Faulkner secures its spot in the national tournament in Kansas City in the win as well.