Over the years, Dayton fans have gone to the Arena during the winsome months of November and December in search of innocuous merriment and the tantalizing potential of free chicken. More times than not, they would spend more time readjusting their red sweater vests over their distended midsections than watching the actual game. UD would play the role of the uninterested party, let their opponent hang around long enough to make them believe a victory was possible before dragging the rug out from under their visitor’s feet (last season’s buzzer-beating victory over Indiana-Fort Wayne being an extreme case). In actuality, the result was never in doubt, the good guys in white were there to smite some slap-dick directional school, a victory would be “earned” and everyone would call it a night.
But sometimes, things don’t go quite as planned. Sometimes your Mighty Cagers weren’t so fearsome. There were instances where they took a loss against the likes of Buffalo, Weber State, Illinois State and East Tennessee State. It became a rite of passage during UD’s non-conference journey. The Flyers would win a few decent early-season games, look wholly competent and completely blow all that good will with a jaw-dropping loss to a lackluster opponent in the inviting confines of the Sweatre Centre.
Tonight felt like one of those nights. The Flyers looked like the lesser against an opposition that gained confidence as the game progressed. Bowling Green was up by as much as eleven points tonight, completely in control of the game. Dayton simply couldn’t stop the Falcons in the paint and it seemed like a defeat was a foregone conclusion.
UD clamped down in the paint during the second half, eventually tying the contest on a Jordan Sibert three-pointer with around fourteen minutes left. BG responded immediately, ripping off an 11-0 run to put the MAC school in clear control. The Flyers chipped away, mostly from the foul-line, and found themselves once again tied, 52-52, with three and a half minutes left. Bowling Green would never score again and UD finished the game with four foul-shots, eventually winning the game, 56-52. UD’s bed would fortunately be spared this night, no shit to be found. (Speaking of shit, BG got to the line just SIX TIMES tonight. SIX.)
Devon Scott continued his impressive play of late, putting up his third double-double in the past four games, finishing with a team-high 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Flyers were once again cold from beyond the arc, shooting an abysmal 1-for-15 from deep. Dayton is currently hitting just 26.8% of their three-point attempts, good for 326th in the nation. They gotta chill.
Now we turn the page and look towards an uncertain future. I have no clue how bad/good this Dayton team is, my thoughts literally change on a daily basis. Regardless, 7-1 is where we stand with just four games remaining outside of league play. 10-2 sound good to you? Okay. Dayton gets its matchup on the road against Arkansas this Saturday and I can finally shut the fuck up about it. Peace be with you.
Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o' D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.