Dalton State College men's basketball coach Alex Ireland has released the Roadrunners' 2021-22 schedule. The schedule features 30 games, with 11 games back in Mashburn Arena at the Dalton Convention Center. Dalton State will also play four neutral site games with two each in the Life University Classic in Marietta and the Talladega College Classic in Alabama.
"The '21-'22 season brings another formidable schedule with challenging opponents in all 30 games," said Ireland. "I am excited to return to a full schedule with fans in attendance, as well as for the opportunity to test our mettle against some of the best competition in the country."
Dalton State finished 2020-21 at 7-11 and a 6-7 mark in Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) play. The Roadrunners had to bow out of the SSAC tournament in February because of COVID-19.
It all starts with the Blue & White scrimmage on Oct. 19 at Mashburn Arena. One week later, Dalton State opens the regular season on Oct. 26 against Fisk in the Roadrunners' official return to Mashburn Arena after playing all home games at Bandy Gymnasium last season due to COVID-19.
The Life University Classic follows on Oct. 29 and 30 where the Roadrunners take on Thomas and Southeastern Baptist. DSC returns home for two games on Nov. 2 and 4 to face Bryan and Oakwood before playing in the Talladega College Classic, where they will meet William Woods and Lyon for the first time in program history.
Conference play opens on Nov. 18 with an away game with Stillman. Blue Mountain will visit Dalton two days later on Nov. 20. It will be the last home game for the Roadrunners before they return home on Jan. 6, 2021.
The six-game road swing will be stretched out because of final exams at the school and begins with a highly-anticipated matchup with defending NAIA national champion Shawnee State in Portsmouth, Ohio, on Nov. 27. A return date with Fisk on Nov. 30 follows with a trip to Pulaski, Tennessee, on Dec. 11to take on the former Martin Methodist, which is newly rebranded as the University of Tennessee Southern.
A return to SSAC play ends 2021 as Dalton State will play at Mobile on Dec. 14 and at defending conference champions Faulkner on Dec. 18. A trip to Mount Vernon to take on Brewton-Parker starts 2022.
A tough three-game stretch awaits the Roadrunners as they finally return to Mashburn Arena when they host Loyola on Jan. 6, William Carey on Jan. 8 and new SSAC member Talladega on Jan. 11. The Tornadoes joined the Southern States Athletic Conference this season and replace outgoing member Florida College, which left after the 2020-21 season.
The Roadrunners briefly step out of conference on Jan. 15 when they travel to Huntsville, Alabama, to matchup with Oakwood for the second time during the season. An afternoon affair on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Middle Georgia State in Cochran is next on Jan. 17, before the Roadrunners return home to host Mobile and Faulkner on Jan. 20 and 22.
The final non-conference game of the season is Jan. 26 when Dalton State visits Carver. Four of the next five games come on the road, starting on Jan. 29 against Talladega. Blue Mountain follows on Feb. 3 before Stillman comes to Mashburn Arena on Feb. 5.
A road trip to Loyola and William Carey on Feb. 10 and 12 ends the tough stretch away from home. Dalton State ends the regular season against Middle Georgia State and Brewton-Parker at home on Feb. 17 and 19.
The Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament is again at the Cramton Bowl Multiplex in Montgomery, Alabama, beginning Feb. 23. The NAIA national tournament will follow.
"Between our 18 SSAC conference games and non-conference opponents such as defending National Champion Shawnee State and Mid-South (Conference) foe UT Southern, there will be plenty of exciting basketball for Roadrunner Nation to enjoy," Ireland said.