Remember the other day when I was saying how this Dayton team has been impressive because they’ve managed to avoid horrible losses (particularly near the end of the regular season)? Well, scratch that. This afternoon’s loss to the Dukes is a glaringly bad defeat. One that I think we all saw coming. After struggling to put away lesser teams this entire season, it was a matter of time before the Flyers got clipped.
Today was that day as Duquesne ran away from the Flyers, earning a 83-73 victory over UD. The loss brings Dayton’s record to 20-6, 10-4 in the A10. Gem City will drop to fourth in the league if Davidson manages to take out Fordham later tonight.
UD wasted a career-high 27 points from Dyshawn Pierre, as the Canadian seemed to be the only player completely dialed in for forty minutes this afternoon. The Flyers could not stop Duquesne defensively, allowing 83 points on 60% shooting from the floor. The Dukes would stretch the lead out to double-digits, UD would battle back to within a few buckets and Duquesne would answer right back.
Dayton got absolutely nothing outside of its core four. Kyle Davis was a dreadful 1-of-9 shooting, missing several shots at the bucket. DURRELL is a nonentity if he isn’t hitting threes at an impressive rate (he was just 1-for-5 today) and Bobby Wehrli has become an absolute liability the past few games — and believe me, I don’t hold it against the Wehrli Bird, he is just out there trying not to embarrass himself.
Things get interesting for your Flyers now. With this sobering loss the path ahead looks a bit more taxing: a home game against an offensive George Mason, then two huge back-to-back tilts — on the road against VCU and at home against Rhode Island, the two teams that seem to be the class of the Atlantic Ten. A trip to the cavernous Tom Gola Arena to face La Salle will close out the regular season.
The most impressive thing about Dayton this year has been their sheer number of wins, not the quality. Losses to both VCU and Rhode Island will only accentuate the lack of formidable victories on this year’s resume. Let’s keep an eye on Davidson and UMass, teams who will be battling Dayton for byes to the A10 tournament quarterfinals over the next two weeks.