Jordan Davis saw his minutes dwindle in recent games: 20 against St. Bonaventure, 21 against Massachusetts and 10 against Richmond.
There didn’t seem to be an obvious reason the Dayton Flyers freshman guard wasn’t playing as much. Davis has been the best scorer of the five-man freshman class. He moved into the starting lineup in early December. He made 4 of 6 shots from the field and scored 10 points in the 62-60 loss to UMass but didn’t play at all in the last 13 minutes.
In other words, nothing foreshadowed what Davis did Friday in a 106-79 victory against Virginia Commonwealth at UD Arena. He scored 11 points in the first four minutes and finished with a career-high 21 points in 28 minutes. He’s now averaging 8.5 points in 24.1 minutes per game.
“After the first couple, I felt like I was hot, so I wanted to keep shooting and be aggressive,” Davis said.
“A lot of credit goes to that young fella,” senior guard Darrell Davis said. “The last game he didn’t play a lot of minutes, and I’m sure fans were wondering why, but he came out tonight with a spark.”
Darrell Davis said he didn’t know why Jordan wasn’t playing as many minutes, but coach Anthony Grant provided an answer after the game.
“He needed to be more aggressive, needed to do the things he has shown early,” Grant said, “and I thought tonight he came out really aggressive on both sides. He did a really good job being locked in to what he had to, and it’s great to see it pay dividends for him.”
Missing player: Dayton redshirt freshman forward Kostas Antetokounmpo didn’t play Friday because of an illness. He was at the arena but not on the bench.
“Some type of virus,” Grant said. “I think it’s going around. We’ve got a couple different people in the office who have had it. Hopefully, he’ll be back soon.”
Back on bench: Freshman Jordan Pierce was back on the bench. He didn’t travel with the team to Richmond, staying behind because of a disciplinary issue.
Moving up: Darrell Davis tied his career high with 28 points. He has 831 points in his career. On Friday, he passed Norman Plummer (804), Allen Elijah (806), David Morris (812), Nate Green (818) and Kyle Davis (820) on Dayton’s all-time scoring list.
Hot shooter: Xeyrius Williams struggled from long range for most of the season. In his first nine appearances, he made 12 of 44 3-pointers (27.3 percent).
» RELATED: Game goes on despite inclement weather
In the last three games, though, Williams has made six 3-pointers in a row. He made 3 of 3 against UMass, didn’t attempt a shot Tuesday in an 87-81 victory at Richmond and made 3 of 3 against VCU. He had nine points in 14 minutes.
Looking ahead: Dayton plays St. Joseph’s at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Philadelphia. Dayton has lost eight straight games at Hagan Arena.
Like Dayton, St. Joseph’s (7-8, 2-2) has victories against two of the best teams in the Atlantic 10: VCU (11-7, 3-2) and St. Bonaventure (12-4, 2-2). It also has losses to George Washington (8-9, 1-3) and George Mason (8-9, 2-2).
George Mason beat St. Joseph’s 81-79 on Wednesday on a long 3-pointer by Otis Livingston II at the buzzer.