Don’t worry everyone, I watched this one (on Flyervision©) so you wouldn’t have to. A subdued crowd watched, as a very balanced Flyer attack easily dispatched of Florida Atlantic, 81-56. The Owls showed some fight in the first half but simply couldn’t hang with UD over forty minutes. FAU came in, got their check and exited stage right.
After a first half replete with streaks – UD started with an 8-0 run, immediately followed by a 12-0 rally by the Owls, which Dayton then answered with eleven consecutive points of its own – the Flyers took a comfortable fourteen point lead into halftime (things got less comfortable for the sweaters as an all-black drum-team took the floor to entertain at the break).
UD began firing threes at will early in the second half, and missing, which allowed FAU to get within crawling distance of the lead, down to ten points at one point. However, that was as close as the Owls got, as Dayton quickly opened it back up to a sixteen point deficit at the twelve-minute mark. From there, it was all academic; the Gem City cagers took control and never relinquished the momentum.
If there was a ball up for grabs, it usually landed in the hands of Devin Oliver or Jalen Robinson. Both managed to pull down fourteen rebounds, Oliver chipped in thirteen point as well – already earning his third double-double on the season. Kevin Dillard (14 points, 4 assists) led the way for the Flyers in the first half, putting in a leisurely and apathetic effort in the second half. Vee Sanford had a quietly effective game, getting to the rim and scoring twelve points against the Owls in just twenty-one minutes of play. Sanford was sporting goggles, taking an homage to the Wright brothers a little too far.
Matt Derenbecker showed some signs of life, spending most of the game upright, sober and connecting on five long threes, finishing the contest with a season-high fifteen points. It was Derenbecker’s most encouraging performance thus far; hopefully a sign of things to come once conference play opens up. A tender conversation with Daddy is surely next on the Louisiana native’s agenda.
Tip o’ the cap to Florida Atlantic’s Greg Gantt, he’s just one of those guys who manages to get buckets no matter the circumstance. UD played tough defense on him all night, but he still maintained his edge offensively. Allen Iverson would have smiled before slapping a naked girl running from the backseat of his Denali.
Things get tougher for Dayton next week, as Illinois State and Murray State make a visit to UD Arena. A clean sweep would bring the Flyers’ record to a very formidable 10-2 before Jesus’ birthday. I’m buying Archie Miller a trip to a day spa, he deserves to be spoiled.
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.