Have no idea why, but I haven’t been this excited to watch a UD game all this season. Just about anything was possible tonight — a UD blowout, a BU blowout, Bobby Wehrli shooting at the wrong basket, cops showing up during the game to take someway away, I was prepared for it all. With a post-season berth seeming extremely unlikely, the very act of watching a Dayton basketball game becomes more enjoyable. My frustration level won’t change at any point after the tip, I will watch every game from here on out with undue bemusement. I won’t be able to muster up the type of exasperation I usually reserve for tight games against St. Bonaventure and Rhode Island. It just isn’t warranted anymore. Still, we all expected the Flyers to get by the Terriers tonight, and the Cagers delivered.
At times the Flyers looked like they were in a good groove, getting contributions from just about everyone. At other times, UD appeared unsure of itself, looking shaky on offense and lethargic on defense. Eventually, talent won out and Dayton was able to distance themselves from their inferior opponent, pulling out a 78-62 victory when all was said and done.
So let’s focus on the positive, Darrell Davis for one. The freshman guard broke out of hibernation tonight and was pulling the trigger early and often. Davis was a perfect 5-of-5 from three-point range, finishing the night with a team-high nineteen points. Kendall Pollard matched Davis with nineteen of his own, while grabbing eight rebounds on the night.
As an offensive unit, the Flyers impressed. Shooting 52% from the floor and 48% from three. UD’s bench pitched in 31 points, which included an orgasmic three in front of UD’s bench from Bobby Wehrli. The walk-on’s stroke was silky, his resolve formidable. Wehrli logged twenty-one minutes on the night and didn’t seem like a complete liability (granted this was against a mid-level Patriot League team). As expected, Dayton went eight deep, every player getting at least ten minutes of playing time.
The bad news? BU’s offense pretty much got whatever it wanted most of the game. Inexplicably ignoring the paint, the Terriers fired off open looks throughout the night, connecting on just enough to keep it tight, and cut the lead to just five points with seven minutes remaining in the game. It looked like the game would go down to the wire, but Boston simply couldn’t buy a bucket down the stretch, going ice-cold and hitting just one field-goal (a jumper from Eric Fanning with 57 seconds left) the rest of the contest.
It’s hard to takeaway anything of substance given the competition, but any win from here on out with be a welcome relief. UD improves its record to 8-2 with two more games before conference play begins. The Flyers get another crack at the little guy on Tuesday night before closing out their season with a visit from Ole Miss. Let’s go 1-1 and see what’s what going into A10 action.
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.