breaking news

Dunbar banned from tourney: 5 keys to end of Dayton’s fight with OHSAA

Fans show up in bad weather, and Flyers reward them in win vs. VCU

Dayton sets school record with 17 3-pointers


The fans showed up. They always do. The announced crowd was 12,507. There weren’t that many fans there, but it was a strong showing considering the  circumstances.

Fans braved the slippery roads and the dropping temperatures to bask in the warmth of UD Arena on Friday, and the Dayton Flyers rewarded them with one of the most improbable performances in years.

Dayton beat Virginia Commonwealth 106-79 with the kind of shooting performance that shows up as often as Halley’s Comet: 62.9 percent from the field (39 of 62), 53.1 percent from 3-point range (17 of 32) and 78.6 percent from the free-throw line (11 of 14). The Flyers set a school record for made 3-pointers. They previously had made 15 in a game three times.

» GAME COVERAGE: NotesPhotosGrant reacts

This was Dayton’s Scooter Gennett game — totally out of nowhere, almost impossible to duplicate and a joy to watch for fans. Dayton coach Anthony Grant praised those fans after the game.

“We’ve got an awesome fan base, man,” Grant said. “It’s an honor to be able to represent our fans. They showed up in inclement weather. I pray for everybody’s safe travels back home. It was an awesome atmosphere. I’m just really happy we were able to get the win for them.”

The Flyers (9-8, 3-2) did everything but hit four home runs — as the Cincinnati Reds’ Gennett did last season — though there was a 4-point play by Darrell Davis in the record-breaking, 66-point first half.

“That was an old-fashioned whooping,” VCU coach Mike Rhoades told the Richmond Times-Dispatch after the game. “Not good enough right off the get-go. We had two good practices; I thought we had a great shoot-around today. But once things got really tough for us, we just didn’t have any resistance to them.”

For the fans who made the trip — some moving down into empty seats in the lower level that are almost always full — this was the rare game where they had a reason to stand and cheer from start to finish.

» RELATED: Game goes on despite inclement weather

VCU never led after falling behind 8-0. There were no ties, other than 0-0. Dayton led by as many as 25 points in the first half and by as many as 31 points in the second half. The Rams (11-7, 3-2) got no closer than 24 points in the final 10 minutes.

Davis led the Flyers with 28 points, tying a career high. He also had a career high with nine assists. He had a perfect first half: 7 of 7 from the field, 3 of 3 from 3-point range and 4 of 4 from the free-throw line. He had no idea he had that stat line when he was asked about it after the game.

Davis played a large part in Dayton building a 66-41 halftime lead. His three free throws with 3 seconds to play put the exclamation point on a half that saw the Flyers set a school record for points in the first half. They set the previous record of 65 in 1990 against Xavier. According to Ken Pomeroy, of KenPom.com, it was the highest-scoring half by any team in college basketball in a conference game since at least 2010.

“We wanted to impose our will as soon as the game started,” Davis said. “We did that. We wanted to break their pressure and make them not press anymore.”

The other Davis, Jordan Davis, was just as important. He hit his career high with 21 points. Trey Landers continued to make a push for most-improved player in the Atlantic 10 Conference, scoring 15 points. Josh Cunningham scored 13.

Overshadowed by all the other stats was the effort by freshman point guard Jalen Crutcher, who fell two rebounds short of recording the first triple-double in school history. He had 12 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

» RELATED: Antetokounmpo says he’s getting better every game

“How much fun was that?” Crutcher was asked after the game.

“It was really fun coming out tonight,” he said. “It’s always fun blowing a team out.”

Crutcher played a big part in helping Dayton break VCU’s full-court press. The Flyers committed only 11 turnovers, their lowest total since they had eight in a loss to Duquesne. They outscored VCU 24-14 in fast-break points in part because they beat the press for some easy baskets.

“We prepared in practice,” Crutcher said. “Our scout team did really good with the press, so we were ready for the press.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Fenwick AD: ‘Everyone knows that we got the bad end of the stick’
Fenwick AD: ‘Everyone knows that we got the bad end of the stick’

Fenwick High School’s boys basketball season ended with a 27-26 loss to Dunbar in a Division II sectional final March 7. Nothing is going to change that. » THE GAME: Dunbar 27, Fenwick 26 Dunbar was scheduled to play Fenwick, then the Ohio High School Athletic Association replaced the Wolverines with Thurgood Marshall in the tournament...
5 former SEC players sign deals with Nike ahead of 2018 NFL Draft
5 former SEC players sign deals with Nike ahead of 2018 NFL Draft

The 2018 NFL Draft is Thursday night, meaning some former SEC players will soon find out where they will head to begin their professional careers. Some of them will have done something else by that point — signed an endorsement deal. Five former SEC players are among a group of draft prospects to have signed a deal with Nike, ...
Grant calls Michigan transfer Watson ‘a great addition’ for Dayton
Grant calls Michigan transfer Watson ‘a great addition’ for Dayton

Ibi Watson first received a scholarship offer from the Dayton Flyers on Nov. 6, 2014. Archie Miller coached the Flyers then, and his program had reached the Elite Eight eight months earlier. That wasn’t enough for the Flyers to beat out Michigan, Indiana and others to land Watson, who committed to the Wolverines in July 2015, the summer before...
Arkansas could have its best in-state signing class ever in 2019
Arkansas could have its best in-state signing class ever in 2019

SEC Country reporter Trent Shadid will answer your Arkansas Razorbacks football recruiting questions each weekday in our recruiting question of the day mailbag. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to  @SECCountryHogs, @Shadid13 or by email to Trent at Shadid13@gmail...
Tennessee recruiting target Dawson Ellington names biggest takeaway from spring game, plans return trip
Tennessee recruiting target Dawson Ellington names biggest takeaway from spring game, plans return trip

There has been a lot made about the crowd size during the Orange and White game and if enough Tennessee fans showed up to please coach Jeremy Pruitt. Well, one top prospect came away very impressed with the fan turnout in what is really a glorified scrimmage. The crowd size and fan support have stood out the most to class...
More Stories