Well, that was certainly one way to go about ending the season. An absolute dismantling by a fellow bubble-dweller all but assured Dayton will be once again looking to hang an NIT banner banner this April.
Jordan Sibert was an offensive polar vortex (sorry) and the rest of the Flyers followed suit, shooting a dismal 32% from the field and 23% from three. Dyshawn Pierre, who ironically hasn’t shown up much over UD’s winning streak, laid another egg last night, scoring six points on 3-of-11 shooting. Vee Sanford couldn’t get it going either, finishing the game with just two points in twenty-one minutes of floor time. My guy Halil Kanacevic was effervescent as always, registering a well-rounded 10/8/8 for the victors.
[pull_quote_center]The Hawks kept rolling in the second half and maintained a 20-plus point lead most of the way. With four minutes remaining in the game, Roberts and Wilson had combined for 42 points on 16-for-19 shooting while entire Dayton team had 42 points on 16-of-56 shooting. Saint Joseph’s took its largest margin of the game, 77-47, on a three-pointer by Bembry with 2:10 to play.[/pull_quote_center]
Devin Oliver was solid, racking up his fourth double-double of the season, and his perpetual effort and desire is something the Flyers have counted on all season long. It seems like he has accepted the leadership position on a team that doesn’t really want a leader. The senior has been very vocal this season, continually expressing his desire to get UD over the hump and into the NCAA tournament. Now, like all good captains, he has the realization that a team is only as good as its weakest link (suspect defense, Archie Miller, freshmen production, lack of an interior presence, Red Scare, John R. — choose one, choose them all if you’d like).
Make no mistake, this wasn’t a choke-job on UD’s part. This was a team who, outside of a win against George Washington, beat up on the dregs of the Atlantic Ten over the past seven games. For all of their faults, St. Joseph’s is still a vastly superior team in comparison to UD, clearly.
Dayton is now 0-6 on the season against teams in the top five of the conference. They are who we thought they were. Last night was simply their comeuppance.
It seems silly to even discuss UD’s postseason hopes at this point, given the path that lies ahead, but last night all but asssured that Dayton won’t hear its named called on Selection Sunday without St. Joe’s being part of the field as well. Unless SJU suffers a complete breakdown from here on out, you’d be hard-pressed to make a case that St. Joe’s, who earned a clean sweep over UD and will finish comfortably ahead of the Flyers in the A10, should be left out of the field in lieu of the Flyers.
St. Louis, UMass, VCU and George Washington are comfortably in the field. St. Joseph’s will have a very strong resume when all is said and done, and Richmond isn’t far behind them. Which, again, makes the only likely scenarios for UD inclusion in the field as follows: (A) the Atlantic Ten receives SIX bids or, (B) Dayton wins the conference tournament. I’m not even sure which of the preceding scenarios is less laughable, but it’s safe to say Dayton’s chances are null at this juncture.
UD has games remaining against three teams that have a combined 28-8 record in league play, it would be an accomplishment for this team to steal just one victory before the Atlantic Ten tournament begins. Two wins would at the very least throw the Flyers a lifesaver.
Regardless of the ensuing results, the Flyers had a chance to make a huge statement last night. And they certainly did.