There are wins and then there are “wins.” A victory over Fordham is the latter. You simply hope no one gets hurt and leave with a victory. A win doesn’t register a blip, a loss is a scarlet letter you carry around forever. Fortunately, Dayton was able to overcome a rather sluggish performance and left the Bronx with a 64-50 victory. The win improves UD’s record to 16-3 on the season, 6-1 in league play.
Fordham was able to enforce their prison rules, turning the Dayton offense over fifteen times during the contest. However, the Rams couldn’t turn those miscues into points, scoring just thirteen points on Flyer turnovers. Fordham, already an average at best offensive team, needs every opportunity it can manufacture. The Rams, notwithstanding their points off Dayton’s blunders, was almost non-existent offensively against the Flyers. Fordham shot 37% from the floor, just 20% from behind the arc. That’s the type of performance that would put any team behind the eight ball, the type of production that simply won’t allow to keep pace with a team like Dayton.
Charles Cooke was otherworldly against the Rams. Dayton’s free agent signing scored a career-high 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting, 4-of-6 from behind the arc. The junior wing grabbed six boards and added three steals to lead the Flyers to victory. Scoochie Smith was the only other UD player worth his salt offensively. Smith, returning to his hometown, connected on 3-of-4 from deep and finished with 14 points on the night.
Dyshawn Pierre was like a drunken cowboy, firing shots blindly into the night. The team’s lone senior shot just 25% from the field, but did manage to pull down nine rebounds against the Rams. Kendall Pollard played like a freshman, almost invisible to the outside world. UD’s power forward has had a few disappearing acts already this season, the Flyers, luckily, cold afford his absence today.
Dayton’s performance today probably wouldn’t have been enough to beat most of the conference. But this is Fordham, and an underwhelming display against the Rams was fortuitously more than enough today. In a manner of speaking, UD’s subpar output was fortunate, saving what could be their worst showing of the season for a team that was not even able to overcome Dayton’s weakest shot to date.
Again, Dayton shot 41% from the floor, converted only 38% of their threes and turned the ball over fifteen times. On your average day, the Flyers probably fight to stay within shouting distance of their opponent. Against Fordham however, this was good enough to rack up a double-digit victory. This is surely a good example of how much separates a program like Fordham from a program like UD’s at this point. Feel good for Dayton, feel nothing but despondency for the Rams.
The Flyers return home for two games next week. A game against our…rivals, Saint Louis (the Arch-Baron Cup is once again on the line) and a chance to redeem ourselves against La Salle this Saturday. The Flyers have an excellent chance of wrapping up January with 18 wins on the ledger, facing a situation where nothing but seeding will hopefully be one the line.
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.