We have seen many close GW triumphs over Dayton in the Smith Center over the years. Buzzer-beaters, half-court shots, put-back dunks, we have seen all types of shenanigans.
Then, tonight, a new entry in the history of the series between the two programs:
Another dagger in the hearts of UD fans, this time in the form of a follow-up volley off a blocked shot. You can’t get more improbable than that. So it goes when Dayton visits Foggy Bottom.
Dayton just couldn’t get it going offensively, the Flyers could only muster 29% shooting from three, and George Washington did just enough to pull out an extremely tight ballgame. All credit goes to Kyle Davis, his play down the stretch of the second half (and his three with 16 seconds left in OT) were difference makers when Dayton desperately needed some.
UD played well defensively, limiting Kevin Larsen’s influence, not allowing GW to get much around the basket — the Colonials were held to just 28 points inside the paint. Second chance points were the difference, as George Washington outscored UD 12-3 in that category.
Wait, what’s that? What the…
OH MY GOD, NO, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If Kendall Pollard isn’t laying someone out he is dunking on a lithe Japanese man. Pretty sure Pollard committed a hate crime on that dunk, but who would dare enforce it?
Anyway, now things get interesting for the good guys. Tonight’s loss, UD third consecutive road defeat, brings Dayton’s record to 17-5 (7-3) with eight games remaining on the schedule. Dayton has dropped into a tie (with GW) for third place in the Atlantic Ten. VCU remains in first and Rhode Island has inched ahead of the Flyers.
A late season Dayton swoon used to be part of every season. The Flyers would get our hopes up, NCAA Tournament bid just at our fingertips, before it was all snatched away in Gregorian fashion. This team felt different, incapable of suffering the types of loses it has incurred over the past two weeks. The season certainly isn’t fading into the sunset, but it does seem like the season has reached an emotional/mental obstruction.
A victory at Saint Louis, a program UD has struggled to beat on the road, is almost obligatory at this point.