Game of the Night
Dayton Flyers 85, Richmond Spiders 84
The Flyers used a 53 point second half to survive a road battle with the Richmond Spiders on Tuesday night. Dayton had lost 3 of its last 4 and could not afford to drop yet another game in the Atlantic 10 conference. Thanks to a very solid night from Scoochie Smith, Dayton didn’t have to face that reality. The junior had a career-high 26 points on 8-11 shooting, but he wasn’t the only player on the court that was firing on all cylinders. The junior T.J. Cline for Richmond had a career-high of his own as he went for an astounding 36 points on 13-20 shooting. It was a battle all night long, but in the end, the Flyers were the ones who came away victorious.
Dayton actually had a fairly decent night shooting the ball despite recent struggles. The Flyers went 29-50 (58.0%) from the floor and connected on 9-15 (60.0%) of their three point attempts. Free throw shooting was another story for this team as it continues to struggle in that area. Dayton went just 18-28 (64.3%) from the stripe and allowed Richmond to have a chance at the win towards the end of the game because of missed free throws. If anything is going to drag this team down in March, it’s going to be its performance from the line. Outside of Scoochie Smith, Dayton got a 21 point performance from Charles Cooke and a 15 point performance from Dyshawn Pierre. Kendall Pollard made some progressions in his second game back from injury as he went 3-7 for 8 points. The Flyers will host VCU this weekend and get an enormous test to finish the regular season.
Richmond’s T.J. Cline had a stellar performance on Tuesday night, but it just wasn’t enough to carry the Spiders to victory. Richmond really did a good job of clawing its way back into this one at the end of the game, but Dayton was able to outlast the Spiders who have now lost 4 of their last 5. ShawnDre’ Jones had 20 points for Richmond and Terry Allen had 16. Three point shooting was definitely an issue for this team as it shot just 4-17 (23.5%) from downtown. Though Richmond hasn’t necessarily been doing great in its last 5 contests, it has had a very tough slate of games. It’s still way too early to count the Spiders out as a sleeper in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. With the way T.J. Cline is proving that he can score the basketball, you better watch out in Brooklyn. Richmond finishes the regular season at George Mason on Saturday.
Elsewhere in A-10 Action
George Mason Patriots 52, George Washington Colonials 74
George Washington had no problem getting the season sweep over its conference rival on Tuesday night. While this isn’t a statement win by any means, it definitely doesn’t hurt George Washington, a team that’s definitely going to need some help to secure an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament. Kevin Larsen and Patricio Garino led the way for this Colonials team with 17 points each on Tuesday night. George Washington only turned the ball over 5 times on the night compared to 16 from its opponent. In addition, it knocked down all 10 of its free throw attempts. George Mason was led by Jaire Grayer with 14 points, but the Patriots failed to get much going in terms of offensive production. From here on out, it’s going to be win or go home for the Colonials. That may be easier said than done when they travel to play Davidson on Saturday.