College Chalktalk’s Ray Floriani sent along this recap of yesterday’s UD/Fordham tilt:
BROOKLYN, NY – A journey from Hell to get here at this venerable locale. The Secaucus lot, I normally park to catch the NY train, was full, no train connection. Drove to New York sans traffic until entering midtown. Struggled to find a lot to drop the $40 dollars to park. Found one on 36th. Took it and walked the three blocks to Penn Station. Finally get the train and get to Barclays. Missed almost the entire first half of the St. Bonaventure win over LaSalle. Dayton was in game two so there was ample time to get settled and organized for tip off.
Impressed how the Flyers ‘jumped’ early on the Rams. The first five possessions saw Dayton out to an 11-3 lead. Important to be the aggressor on the lower seed who played the night before.
The lead reached 21 late in the half. At the break it was a 19 point lead and all was well. At the half spoke with former NBA coach and analyst Stan Van Gundy. He felt if Dayton would come out and control the first four minutes the rout would be signed and sealed. Fordham ‘won’ the first four 12-5 to cut the deficit to 12. What transpired over the last eight minutes can be taken either way.
Fordham cut the deficit to six, hitting threes getting some stops, with eight minutes left. The ‘half empty’ crowd can say Dayton blew a big lead. The ‘half full’ group can credit Fordham for making a run and also Dayton for weathering the run and regroup to finish it.
The flyers eventually captured the contest 87-74 and face St. Josepoh’s on Friday. Positives included a 35-15 edge in bench scoring. That was courtesy of Vee Sanford, 23 points in 23 minutes without missing a shot (9-9 from the floor and 2 for 2 from the line).
Four players in double figures, another plus with Devin Oliver ringing up a 17 point, 11 board afternoon.A 68% eFG mark courtesy of 9 of 19 from downtown, another plus.
Negatives… out rebounded 13-6 on the offensive glass. Another negative, allowing the Rams to get to the line for a 59% FT rate. Also, allowed 11 of 30 (37%) from three with Branden Frazier (4 of 9 deep) getting 30. Galloway of St. Joseph’s cannot be allowed similar offensive freedom.
Archie Miller expressed concern over St. Joseph’s. “We haven’t scored on them well the two games,” he said, “and they do a great job controlling tempo.” Miller went on to say practices of late have been very good. The fact, as Miller pointed out, you are in a post season tournament is a “fresh start”.
Final note, Miller was concerned how the Flyers came out to start the second half with a 19 point lead. More focus and sense of purpose were needed. And will be needed against St. Joseph’s in the semis.
As usual Dayton traveled very well. The band did a good job and there were a few signs and banners in support of the Flyers around Barclays. No assignment for BR is ion the books without a cheer mention. Here is one better, a picture with yours truly. Told the ladies and coach this will be in the BR. “Awesome, I read the Blackburn Review,” a few of the young ladies exclaimed. “Oh my God, the Blackburn Review,” said the coach with a bit of laughter. Turns out the coach (cheered at UD around 2001) enjoys the analysis and humor but did not want and adverse mention of the squad. I gave her my word, as a (hopefully) well respected BR contributor.
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.