Dayton shot 63% from the floor, 62% from three and outrebounded Mason 41-27 in route to a 98-64 curbstomping in Fairfax. The Flyers took a commanding lead midway through the first half and never looked back. The win is Dayton’s seventh in a row, the twelfth victory out of their last thirteen games. UD now stands at 9-1 in the Atlantic Ten, tied with VCU for first place.
Charles Cooke, who was punished harshly by Archie Miller (held out of the game for the first three and a half minutes), had an almost flawless game. Cooke finished with a game-high 24 points, going 10-of-13 from the field, and chipped in five assists. It was the JMU transfer’s best game in a Dayton uniform, which isn’t shocking considering how dismal George Mason’s defense is. After two quiet games against Saint Louis and La Salle, it was reassuring to see Cooke reassert himself offensively.
Dyshawn Pierre and Kendall Pollard combined for 28 points and ten rebounds. The pair shot 12-of-18 from the floor, Pierre connecting on both his three-point attempts. It was his ninth game in a row scoring in double-digits. The backcourt was kinda quiet tonight, as Scooch, Kyle Davis and DURRELL put it in neutral and let the frontcourt pull most of the weight.Looking strictly at the numbers, Scoochie’s play since conference games began has slipped a bit. Not saying his season has been a disappointment, far from it, but his early season performances were clearly superior to his last ten games. Smith is averaging eight points a game, shooting 32% from three and just 35% from the floor overall in conference contests. On the positive side, Smith is clocking in with a 2.8:1 assist-to-turnover in A10 play, which is an attribute that defines his role on the team better than any other measurement. Still, it’d be nice to see Scooch whip out the big balls a few more times before the seasons wraps up.
Due to the unadulterated beating, the Flyer freshmen were gifted with extended minutes. John Crosby looked solid once again, scoring ten points and grabbing five boards in just fifteen minutes of play. The X-Man came off the bench, ran around a bit and knocked down a three. Sam Miller returned to the DC area and actually responded offensively, going 3-of-4 from behind the three-point arc. Miller managed to foul out in fifteen minutes of court time, an impressive foul every three minutes.
At the end of the day it’s hard to take too much away from tonight’s matchup with George Mason. Mason is, at best, a work in progress. The Patriots are not very talented, true, but a thirty-four point victory is an impressive feat no matter the opponent. The Flyers are now 4-1 in league games on the road, which likely says as much about the success of the season thus far as anything else you could point to.
The Flyers have two games coming up this week, a home game against Duquesne on Tuesday and another Friday night tilt, on the road against Rhode Island. Both teams are currently 5-5 in the Atlantic Ten, however Rhode Island clearly poses the larger challenge for UD. Stay LOWD, friends.