If you told me before the game that Jalen Crutcher was going to foul out after scoring only six points, I probably would have told you St. Bonaventure was going to win by 20. Well, Crutcher did foul out with only six points, but Dayton managed to do something it had not accomplished all season: win without their star point guard dominating. Facing adversity with Crutcher playing just 22 minutes on 2-9 shooting, the Flyers found a way to come back, build a lead in the 2nd half, and close out the game. Ibi Watson led Dayton with 14 points, while freshmen R.J. Blakney and Mustapha Amzil added nine apiece on a combined 6-7 shooting. St. Bonaventure did have a chance to tie with a three at the end, but the shot fell short as the Flyer held on for a 55-52 victory.
Although the win will not do much for Dayton’s resume (its at-large chances sailed away a long time ago), it does give the Flyers a confidence boost heading into the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Going on the road and beating the regular season conference champion is never a bad way to kick-off the month of March. The win secures a No. 7 seed for Dayton in the A-10 tournament, and as senior-led team, I think the Flyers are a prime underdog candidate to make a run at the title; especially with several of the freshmen beginning to find their strides. Plus, if karma does exist, it might like to see the Flyers snag an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament after their season was ended in such crushing fashion last year. I honestly think Dayton is as likely to lose its first postseason game as it is to win the whole A-10 tournament, so we’ll see if the Flyers have anything in store for later this week. After all, it is March, and we all know crazier things have happened when you combine college basketball with the month of March.