Just when you thought this covid-impacted Atlantic 10 season couldn’t get any weirder, Dayton and George Washington squared off at George Mason on Sunday in what was considered a home game for the Colonials. While I’m sure many fans who tuned in to watch the game on NBC Sports Network were originally thrown for a loop, I do not think the site change impacted the outcome. Led by recently named A-10 player of the week Jalen Crutcher, Dayton came out firing on all cylinders. The Flyers jumped out to an 18-2 lead in less than seven minutes before George Washington began to answer back. Just when it looked like Dayton was going to cruise to a double-digit win, however, the Colonials found a way to make a run. Thanks to 17 points from James Bishop, 13 points from Ricky Lindo Jr. and a string of defensive stops, George Washington cut Dayton’s lead to just four with 6:45 to play. Despite the scare it gave Flyer fans, this turned out to be as close as the Colonials could draw. Dayton responded with a plethora of buckets and stops, going on to win by a final score of 67-54.
Scoring 23 points on 5-7 three point shooting to go along with four assists and five rebounds, Jalen Crutcher asserted his dominance once again. During Dayton’s three game win streak Crutcher is averaging 23.3 points per game and proving why he is a prime candidate for A-10 Player of the Year. At this point in the season I think it’s safe to say that as Crutcher goes, the Flyers go. Although Dayton does have a considerable amount of talent across its entire roster, Dayton needs its senior point guard to take charge night in and night out.
As for George Washington, the Colonials are clearly becoming reliant on talented transfer James Bishop and big man Ricky Lindo Jr. If those two are able to start getting some help from George Washington’s supporting cast, I think the Colonials are more than capable to turning the corner. Obviously George Washington faces an uphill battle as it travels to Dayton for a rematch on Wednesday night, but I expect the Colonials to build off the 2nd half run they made on Sunday and keep the game closer this time around.
Featured Image Via Keegan Gupta (@keegan_gupta on Twitter)