Rhode Island showed why it was the preseason favorite in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Dayton Flyers showed once again the inconsistency that has plagued them all season.
Rhode Island improved to 7-0 with an 88-74 victory over Dayton at UD Arena on Saturday. The Rams (15-3 overall) remain in first place all by themselves. Dayton (9-10, 3-4) dropped its second straight game after its first two-game winning streak of the season.
Josh Cunningham was the lone bright spot for Dayton, scoring a career-high 32 points on 13-of-18 shooting. He also had 12 rebounds.
Dayton trailed throughout the second half and never got closer than 10 points in the last eight minutes. Jared Terrell led the Rams with 24 points. The Rams guards dominated down the stretch, scoring at will late in the shot clock.
Turnovers doomed Dayton. It had 21 to Rhode Island’s 10. The Flyers lost despite shooting 63.4 percent from the field.
The Dayton Flyers scored the last five points of the first half to cut Rhode Island’s halftime lead to 50-43 Saturday at UD Arena.
Here’s a quick recap of the first half:
Dayton’s star: Josh Cunningham made 4 of 8 shots from the field and scored 12 points. He had five rebounds and two assists.
Rhode Island’s star: Jared Terrell made 5 of 11 shots and scored 15 points.
Big run: Dayton led 38-36 with 4:14 to play. Rhode Island went on a 14-0 run in the next three minutes to take a 50-38 lead. Dayton closed the half with a 3-point play by Cunningham and a layup by Xeyrius Williams.
Key stat: Dayton committed 12 turnovers. Rhode Island had six.
Foul trouble: Darrell Davis and Trey Landers picked up their second fouls in the first four minutes. Both stayed in the game. Landers didn’t get his third until late in the half.
Hot shooters: Dayton shot 65 percent (13 of 20) from the field. Rhode Island shot 50 percent (18 of 36). Dayton made 14 of 17 free throws. Rhode Island made 9 of 9.
Record tied: Davis made his first six free throws to tie Damon Goodwin’s school record for consecutive made free throws (36). He missed his next one.