Dayton picked up its fifth win of the season this afternoon, a workman-like 83-67 victory over the Winthrop Eagles. Charles Cooke paced UD with 20 points and Scoochie Smith added 15, he also led team with seven boards, in what was the first of three rather lackluster games coming up at the Arena before the Cagers head to Chicago to take on Northwestern.
The sixteen point margin is a bit misleading as Winthrop hung around for most of the contest — the Eagles trailed by just five with around eight minutes to go before the Flyers took control of the game for good. Keon Johnson was as good as advertised, an absolute matchup nightmare due to his speed. The 5’7″ guard had a game-high 24 points. Pat Kelsey’s team wasn’t able to hit enough threes to keep them in, the Eagles connected on just 28% of their attempts from three. Although UD wasn’t much better from outside, the Flyers absolutely dismantled Winthrop in the paint. Dayton outscored the visitors 54-28 in the lane. The Gem City Cagers also mollywhomped the Eagles on the glass, Archie Miller’s squad enjoyed a 45-27 edge on the boards.
The big (and I mean big) news of the day was the return of Kendall Pollard (I had to laugh when he tweeted out a picture of his jersey and shoes like he was Lebron coming back to Cleveland. Hit the brakes, fella). While the senior from Chicago missed practices over the past few weeks, it is obvious he didn’t miss a meal. Pollard looked like a bloated version of himself, yet was still able to rack up 12 points and 5 rebounds. The hope is that he can slowly play himself into basketball shape by the time conference play picks up. The Flyers desperately need a solid third scoring option from here on out.
We will not be doing a recon or recap for the Saint Joseph’s College game. I think it’s an insult to make season-ticket holders pay for such low-quality and I can assure you that not a more meaningless game will be played this season. Let’s just all pretend it never happened. See you next weekend for the East Tennessee State tilt.