Dayton climbs to No. 2 in country in 2-point field-goal percentage

1:18 p.m Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 Sports

Darrell Davis would pick Trey Landers to win a freestyle dunk contest if the Dayton Flyers held such a thing. When it comes to in-game dunks, he would pick Josh Cunningham.

Dayton’s two best dunkers put on a show Wednesday in an 88-73 victory against Duquesne at UD Arena. Cunningham dunked four times. Landers dunked twice.

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The Flyers made 23 of 34 of their 2-point shots (67.6 percent), climbing to second in the country in that category (60.1 percent).

“I think the best thing about tonight’s game was we shared the ball a lot,” Landers said. “A lot of guys had assists. A lot of guys hit shots. On any given night, anybody can score the ball. You had (Jordan Davis) in double figures (18), Darrell in double-figures (20) and Josh (21). When we play like that, it’s hard for anybody to beat us.”

The Flyers had 25 assists on 31 field goals. It was their second-highest assists total of the season. They had 34 assists on 39 field goals in a 106-79 victory against Virginia Commonwealth on Jan. 12.

Jalen Crutcher led the Flyers with nine assists and no turnovers. In the last two games, he has 17 assists and one turnover.

“That’s what you want to see,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “For all of our freshmen, every experience is a brand-new experience, but tonight was the second time he’s seen this team. You want to see guys grow and get better. It’s great to see those type of numbers.”

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Dayton (11-12, 5-6) once again showed what it can do when it’s playing its best. That has been easier to do at UD Arena, where it has beaten four of the top-six teams in the Atlantic 10 Conference standings. Doing it on the road has been another story, and the Flyers have to go to Virginia for their next two games, playing at Virginia Commonwealth (14-10, 6-5) on Saturday and at George Mason (10-14, 4-7) on Wednesday.

If Dayton wants to make a move in the standings and go on the type of run it has sought all season, the time is now. It already has a 106-79 victory over VCU. It has beaten George Mason seven times in a row.

» RELATED: Jordan Davis bounces back with strong shooting night

The Flyers follow this two-game road swing with winnable games at home against Fordham (8-15, 3-8) and Saint Louis (13-12, 6-6).

“We have to start playing with a sense of urgency more,” Landers said. “When we play with urgency, we beat decent teams, so I feel like that’s one of the main things we just need to have consistently. Our defense is a big thing we’ve been preaching. Offensively, it’s going to be there, but I feel like we need to get stops and be consistent at getting stops.”

SATURDAY’S GAME

Dayton at Virginia Commonwealth, 6 p.m., CBS Sports Network, FM 95.7, AM 1290 WHIO

David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Postgame: Dayton's Anthony Grant on victory over Duquesne