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Raiders fall to No. 4 Chargers, 86-76

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By Goose Lindsay

 

Randy Nesbit's Roane State Raiders gave the nation's fourth ranked team a scare Saturday afternoon in Harriman, but in the end Columbia State had just enough firepower to eke out an 86-76 victory in TCCAA play.

Roane State led for pretty much the entire first 30 minutes of play, but the Chargers used a 22-5 run midway through the second half to pick up their seventh victory of the season.

Roane State played well early on. The Raiders scored the first five points of the contest and held a slight lead throughout much of the first half.

Raider freshman Xavier Howard had a huge first half with 16 points, including a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left in the half that gave the Raiders their largest lead of the night at 42-34.

Columbia State, however, would cut the deficit to 42-37 at halftime thanks to a late 3-pointer from Blake Johnson.

Roane State held the lead throughout the first 10 minutes of the second half and the lead stood at 60-56 with 9:53 left to play after Roane State's Ryan Davis buried a jumper.

It's at that point that the Chargers caught fire. In a little more than two minutes of game time, Columbia State went on an 11-2 run to take a 67-62 lead. Howard stopped the bleeding with a jumper with 7:17 left to play that cut the deficit to 67-64, but then the Chargers scored 11 of the game's next 12 points to take a 78-65 lead with 4:49 left to play.

Roane State never got closer than seven points down the stretch as Columbia State held on for the 10-point victory.

T.J. Dunas (22 points, 10 rebounds), T.J. Croner (21 points) and Johnson (11 points, 6 assists) scored in double figures for the Chargers with Justin Pride dishing out 10 assists.

Howard led all scorers on the night with 31 points to go along with 8 rebounds. Davis (11 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists) and Marques McKoy (11 points, 13 rebounds) also scored in double figures for the Raiders.

Columbia State (86) Dunas 22, Croner 21, Pride 4, Johnson 11, Williams 8, Graham 8, Dodd 3, Griggs 9.

Roane State (76) McKoy 11, Hardin 5, Reppart 6, Howard 31, Davis 11, Gunter 2, Mitchell 4, Solomon 6.