- David Jablonski Staff Writer
Dayton Flyers coach Anthony Grant didn’t quite know how to answer a question Wednesday about whether he has ever had a team dunk as much as his current group.
Dunks aren’t kept as a stat. One would have to manually go through each box score to figure out how many times Dayton has dunked this season. Dayton had six dunks against Duquesne on Wednesday in an 88-73 victory at UD Arena. The Dukes had none.
That was just one reason the Flyers avenged a 62-60 loss at Duquesne in Pittsburgh in December. Dayton scored in plenty of other ways as well, shooting 81.8 percent from the field in the second half. It was the second-best shooting performance in a half in school history and the best second-half percentage.
“I think our guys were really focused and motivated and understood what we had to do,” Grant said. “The first half, I thought our guys were really locked in and did a great job. Offensively, we were not quite in a great rhythm. In the second half, we talked about trying to duplicate or better our defensive performance from the first half and that we could play better offensively. Obviously, you look at our numbers offensively in the second half, and our guys did an outstanding job.”
Dayton (11-12, 5-6) avoided its first three-game losing streak of the season and moved from a tie for eighth place in the A-10 into eighth place all by itself as George Mason (10-14, 4-7) lost 67-66 at Fordham (8-15, 3-8) and La Salle (10-14, 4-7) lost 80-69 at George Washington (10-14, 3-8).
Dayton shot 64.6 percent from the field (31 of 48) and 57.1 percent (8 of 14) from 3-point range. Both numbers were seasons bests for the Flyers.
The Flyers also out-rebounded Duquesne 28-23 and outscored the Dukes 18-13 in fast-break points.
“They came in as the best offensive rebounding team in the league,” Grant said. “They got eight of them tonight, but we knew we had to rebound the ball and if we rebounded the ball, we had transition opportunities. We were able to get some opportunities to kick it out ahead and get to the rim and get some open 3s.”