breaking news

U.S. women's hockey team wins Olympic gold

The road ahead: Analyzing last eight games for Dayton Flyers

Flyers favored in five of remaining regular-season games


Dayton tied for ninth place in A-10.

Two games ago, Dayton Flyers coach Anthony Grant talked about the goal of competing for one of the top four seeds in the Atlantic 10 tournament and getting a double bye.

Now Dayton has to worry about falling into the bottom four and having to win five games in five days to win the league’s automatic bid. With an 86-82 loss in double overtime Saturday at Massachusetts, Dayton (10-12, 4-6) has lost four times in the last five games. It’s the worst stretch of Grant’s first season.

» UMASS GAME: Notes on shot by PipkinsFour takeawaysPhoto galleryFlyer Feedback

On the bright side, Dayton overcame a poor first half and nearly won the game in regulation, and it’s hard to fault the starters who all played 40 or more minutes. On the other hand, Dayton’s bench has fallen so far out of favor, no reserves saw action in the second half or in the first overtime.

“I thought in the second half our guys really came together and they fought the way I expect our guys to fight and played with great pride,” Grant said. “That’s all you can ask for as a coach. The breaks didn’t go our way today. You don’t like the result. It hurts. I hurt for them right now. They fought their tails off. I thought we had opportunities. It is what it is. We’ve got to be able to pick ourselves up and get ready for the next one.”

The defeat leaves the Flyers tied for ninth in the Atlantic 10 with George Mason, La Salle and St. Joseph’s. Eight games remain. If Dayton wants to finish with a winning record or even at .500, it’s going to have to find a way to win away from UD Arena. It’s 1-6 on the road and 1-2 on a neutral court.

The Flyers are favored in five of their last eight games, according to Here’s a glance at the matchups:

Wednesday, 7 p.m., home vs. Duquesne (15-9, 6-5): The Flyers lost 70-62 at Duquesne on Dec. 30, but this is a winnable game because it’s at home. After a 5-2 start in A-10 play, the Dukes have lost three of their last four.

» LOCAL HOOPS: Wittenberg improves to 21-0Wright State remains in first

Saturday, 6 p.m., at Virginia Commonwealth (14-9, 6-4): The Flyers beat the Rams 106-79 at UD Arena on Jan. 9. Don’t expect anything close to that to happen at the Siegel Center, though VCU has double-digit losses at home to Richmond and Rhode Island.

Feb. 14, 7 p.m., at George Mason (4-6, 10-13): This looked more like a potential win for Dayton until Saturday when the Patriots picked up a surprising 79-75 victory at Richmond.

Feb. 17, 7 p.m., home vs. Fordham (7-15, 2-8): There are no gimmes for Dayton, but this one’s pretty close. The Flyers have won 14 straight games against Fordham.

» WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Flyers a No. 10 seed in ESPN prediction

Feb. 20, 9 p.m., home vs. Saint Louis (13-11, 6-5): The Billikens beat Dayton 75-65 in Saint Louis on Jan. 27. They have won five of their last six games and have road wins at UMass and St. Joseph’s in that span.

Feb. 23, 7 p.m., at Rhode Island (19-3, 11-0): This is Dayton’s most difficult remaining game. The Rams beat Dayton 88-74 at UD Arena on Jan. 20. Their winning streak stands at 14 straight games.

Feb. 28, 7 p.m., at La Salle (10-13, 4-6): The Explorers are 4-1 at home in A-10 play, and Dayton has lost three straight games at Tom Gola Arena.

March 3, 3 p.m., home vs. George Washington (9-14, 2-8): The Colonials have lost eight of their last nine games and have fallen into a tie for last place with Fordham.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Skijoring: The wildest winter sport not in the Olympics

A team consists of a competitor in a saddle, another on two skis and also a horse on four hooves. The playing field is a blanket of snow and includes a variety of jumps and obstacles. The goal is to go fast and, if all goes as planned, also stay upright. "Once you hear, you can't forget," says Matt Crossett, who first discovered the sport...
What killed off the hook shot?
What killed off the hook shot?

Kentucky center Nick Richards had just dropped 25 points on visiting Fort Wayne in an 86-67 win Nov. 22. Seeking to explain his offensive outburst, the deep-voiced UK freshman told the postgame media horde that Wildcats assistant coach Kenny Payne had been working with him on a jump hook.   The exchange started me thinking about something...
Murphy dreams about at-bats, but that's as close as he'll get to playing 
Murphy dreams about at-bats, but that's as close as he'll get to playing 

Daniel Murphy looked in the mirror and decided it was time to make a change. So, Tuesday morning, he took a seat in the barber's chair in the bathroom in the Washington Nationals' clubhouse. He was scheduled for his annual photo and video shoot for the footage that will be used on the scoreboard at Nationals Park during the season later on. It was...
Garlic Girls take over the Olympics — and their hometown is loving it
Garlic Girls take over the Olympics — and their hometown is loving it

They arrived from all corners of Uiseong County. They brought homemade signs, waved flags and screamed for every shot. They came to celebrate four young women from this farming community who have emerged as the most unexpected (and most gloriously bespectacled) stars of the 2018 Winter Olympics. On Tuesday afternoon, townspeople gathered inside the...
How social media has changed the game for NBA players
How social media has changed the game for NBA players

Stephen Curry has a rule with Twitter. Before he sends a tweet, he’ll re-read it at least once.  “If I hesitate for a half of a second, then most likely I won’t tweet it,” Curry told the Bay Area News Group.   Curry has written many drafts that have never seen daylight. Some were responses to fans, others were...
More Stories