The Dayton Flyers earned a hard fought 67-64 victory over the visiting Rhode Island Rams on Friday night in a match-up featuring two teams that are expected compete for the Atlantic-10 title along with VCU.
Scoochie Smith tallied a game-high 21 points, on 8 of 13 shooting, to pace three Flyers (12-3, 3-0 A-10) in double-figures. Kendall Pollard chipped in 18 points and Kyle Davis added 10. Smith also had six assists, five rebounds and four steals.
Rhode Island’s Jarvis Garrett knocked down a three-pointer to open the scoring for the Rams (10-5, 2-1),who scored the game’s first seven points. A Hassan Martin jumper with 8:56 left in the half extended the Rams’ lead to 19-9. Smith kept the Flyers in the game by scoring seven of the team’s final nine points during a 16-8 spurt to close the half.
The Rams led the entire half as they moved ball well and were excellent on the defensive end. The Rams compiled 10 assists on their 11 field goals (11-26) in the stanza while holding the Flyers to 32 percent (8-32) from the floor and forcing seven turnovers. Dayton missed 11 of its first 13 shots.
Dayton grabbed its first lead of the game on a triple from Davis off of a pass from Smith with 17:31 remaining in the second half. The lead was short lived as Rhode Island made four three-pointers to re-take the lead 44-41 at the 13:41 mark.
Trailing 49-44, the Flyers went on a 15-5 run to take a 59-54 lead with 3:07 remaining. E.C.Mathews, who scored all 13 of his points in the second half, closed the gap to 63-62 for the Rams with his third three-pointer with 1:03 showing on the clock. Pollard pushed the Flyers’ lead back to three on a driving layup but Kuren Iverson answered right back for the Rams with a catch and layup at the front of the rim off a feed from Mathews.
Davis then made just one of two free throws to make the score 66-64. However, Garrett drove to no-man’s land and threw up a shot that missed everything. Davis grabbed the rebound and was fouled five seconds later. He made both free throws to secure the game with two ticks left in the game.
Iverson led the way for the Rams with 14 points and 13 boards for his second double-double of the season. Stanford Robinson tallied 13 points off the bench.
Dayton is one three teams without a loss in conference play with the others being VCU (2-0) and Richmond (2-0). The Flyers are at UMass on Wednesday, and the Rams host La Salle on Thursday.
- Pollard turned 22 years old yesterday.
- Martin was held to a season-low seven points
- The Rams have made 10 three-pointers in each of their last three games.
- The Flyers were without leading scorer Charles Cooke (18.7 ppg) with a back injury. Cooke has missed the last two games and three of four.
- Dayton was 6-for-6 from the charity stripe while Rhode Island didn’t attempt a free throw in the first half. The Flyers finished the game 17-of-26 from the free throw line and the Rams were 10-of-14.
- Dayton out-shot Rhode Island from the floor 46.9 percent to 44.0 percent, but the Rams went 10-for-21 (47.6) from long range compared to the Flyers’ 4-for-12 (33.3) three-point performance.
- Dayton has now won five-consecutive and 10 of its last 11 games. The Flyers are a perfect 11-0 when shooting 40 percent or better from the floor.
- Rhode Island committed a season-high 18 turnovers.
- The Rams’ reserves outscored the Flyers’ bench 20-7, marking the seventh time Rhode Island has gotten at least 20 points from its bench.