Is it possible to play the best half of the season and the worst half of the year in the same game? Yes, an emphatic yes. After one of the most dominating halves in Dayton history, the Flyers put it in cruise control and slowly watched their seemingly insurmountable lead dissipate over the final twenty minutes of the game.
Dayton is the drunk driver that makes it all the way home undetected and unscathed before plowing over the family dog while pulling into the driveway. Now, instead of sneaking into the house and watching soft-core porn until he passes out on the couch, he’s in the backyard, with an ice-cream scooper, digging a shallow grave for a golden retriever.
In the morning, he will have to tell his kids that the only thing in their lives they’ll ever know capable of unrelenting love was stolen by a group of Puerto Ricans in the middle of the night. “I tried to stop them but there must have been five of them, maybe six. It was dark and the Tejano music was distracting. One of the guys looked like a Hispanic Joaquin Phoenix.” But it won’t matter, the children don’t know who that is, and the fact that their beloved dog is gone forever is the only thing they’ll think about for months. If they’re lucky.
Years later when a flood unearths the dog’s decomposed bones in the backyard, the kids will know his wife was right all along. He is no good. The divorce had already put a strain on his relationship with the children, seeing the skeletal remains of their pet, the red collar still attached to the corpse, will be the deathblow.
That’s Dayton in a nutshell. Everything is going swimmingly until you get too comfortable. The Flyers were up THIRTY ONE points with thirteen minutes to play in the game. At that point you’re thinking Dayton is going to give St. Bonnie a white-out of their own, rolling out the walk-ons with around five minutes to go. Instead, the Bonnies go on an absurd run and were down just six points before time eventually ran out on them (Saint Bonaventure scored 61 points in the second half, that’s some mid-80’s NBA shit right there).
It has become a running joke every time UD gets out to a sizable lead, we just know they are going to blow it. Is it a lack of killer instinct? Does Dayton phone it in once they feel the game is in hand, get lazy defensively? Does Archie put away the dry erase board when things are going well? I don’t know, but it’s certainly disconcerting to say the least. No lead is safe, at home or on the road.
Although the Flyers’ second-half effort was disappointing, let’s not lose sight of the fact that Dayton went home victorious. Once the bad taste dissolved, UD still left Olean with a win – bringing their overall record to 15-3 on the year, 5-1 in league play. Style points don’t count for much in the grand scheme of things, thankfully. One of the nice things about playing a game broadcast out of someone’s living room is not a lot of eyes were on it. Furthermore, most viewers likely turned the game off when Dayton went up 45-18 at halftime and never thought about it again (kinda like the Flyers, HIYO!).
Nevertheless there were some extremely reassuring performances tonight. Dyshawn Pierre keeps building on his performances, scoring twenty points (going 3-of-4 from three, 7-of-7 from the stripe) and grabbing seven rebounds. Kendall Pollard stayed on the court for thirty-five minutes, a victory in and of itself. Charles Cooke remains studly, putting up a team-high twenty-one points, hitting five-of-seven from behind the arc.
Even your boy DURRELL rose to the occasion, scoring twelve points before fouling out late in the second half. Scooch and Kyle Davis didn’t have their best games, but the team as a whole managed to shoot 57% from the field on the night, a season-best 60% from three.
The Bonnies managed to bang in a bunch of contested and deep threes and outright refused to miss foul-shots in the second half. Dayton didn’t play a terribly in the latter twenty minutes, far from it, the Bonnies just hit an inordinate amount of tough shots and Dayton helped the home team’s cause with turnovers and missed foul-shots. Basketball is allegedly a game of runs (I’m not really sure that’s true) and we were privy to three extraordinary scoring outbursts throughout the contest. So…consider yourselves lucky?
Bottom line, UD continues its utter domination of the Bonnies – the Flyers are now winners of fifteen of the last sixteen games with SBU. Dayton returns to campus, discovers the arts, and head back out to New York later this week to take on Fordham. A Flyer win in the Bronx on Sunday afternoon would put UD at 3-1 on the road in conference play this season, headed into a week with two home games. There’s a decent chance Dayton could head into February with eighteen wins. That’s big boy stuff.