What a performance from the Dayton Flyers on Tuesday night. Rhode Island came into the game on a hot streak of their own, winners of 10 straight including wins over VCU (twice), Duquesne, and St. Bonaventure. That did not phase the 6th ranked Flyers, as Dayton rolled from tip to finish in a 81-67 rout of the Rhody Rams. Lets get to some takeaways for both teams.
The pedal remained on the floor the entire game.
Dayton has been regulars to fast starts in many games this season, but sometimes they let their foot off the pedal a bit and let teams back in the game. The worst one was against Colorado when they were up 19-5 and let the Buffaloes climb back in. Same can be said about Duquesne, just in the second half to make it only a 4 point win. Dayton seemed to have gotten the message as they did not let Rhode Island get back any higher than 7 in the first half. The second half saw the Flyers go up by more than 20 at one point, but eventually the win would be a 14 point margin. Dayton needs to keep up this 40 minute energy the rest of the season if they want a big March run.
Fatts can be somewhat limited
Although he finished the night with 19 points, Fatts Russell got many of those points in garbage time when Dayton was already up big. It also did not help that he had to go back into the locker room to fix a bloody eyebrow. Fatts finished the first half with only 2 points, not good for the struggling Rams in this one. But credit to Dayton, especially Rodney Chatman and Dwayne Cohill, for taking on the challenge and really making Fatts work for every point.
Oh, there’s Dwayne Cohill
Speaking of the sophomore guard, Cohill has been mysteriously gone from the past two games, sitting on the bench the entire 40 minutes or playing at the end of the game during garbage/walk-on time. Cohill answered the call and got back into this game, contributing with 5 points, but a huge three at the beginning of the game and a floater a possession later. Big props to that kid for remaining mentally tough and getting himself back on the court mentally and physically ready to go.
Cyril Langevine was still a force.
Many of the good things that Rhode Island did last night were lost in the Dayton highlights. Langevine ended up with 10 points and 13 rebounds, 5 of those boards coming on the offensive end. The Rams did exploit Dayton on the offensive glass, collecting a whomping 18 on the night. The only thing is that if you are getting that many offensive rebounds, you are not making many shots. Dayton did win the total rebound battle, 43-40, on the night.
Dayton has 2 glue guys
Ryan Mikesell has been known as the premier glue guy for Dayton, but I feel like Trey Landers never gets talked about enough. Landers pulled down 14 rebounds and added 10 points. The layups and put-backs were not going down for Trey last night, but the senior stepped up and contributed with rebounding the heck out of the basketball. Landers also had 2 steals on defense. Dayton has two guys that can do it all, both are seniors, and both just play with such high basketball IQs that many might not see back in Dayton for a long time.
Rhode Island needs a new plan for Obi Toppin
The matchup plan early on was to put Jermaine Harris on Toppin. It did not turn out well, as Toppin exploited him. I can’t blame Harris because Obi has been doing this to a lot of opponents this year. Rhode Island did have about three bodies routinely boxing out Toppin on the glass, which resulted in Obi getting no offensive boards on the night. That is a good start, but David Cox needs to go back to the drawing board on how to defend him the next time these two teams meet in March in Kingston.
Dayton travels to Amherst to play Massachusetts, while Rhode Island hopes to right the ship against Saint Joseph’s back in Kingston. Both games are on Saturday.
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