Last year Dayton went into the Ryan Center in Rhode Island having not won a game there in 11 years. KenPom had the Rams favored by a few points and our fearless leader Archie “Rooster” Miller predicted the game would be a street fight. He was spot on. After giving up two separate 8 point leads due to 18 turnovers (shock), the game went right down to the wire. Lo and behold, our boy DURRELL came up big to save the day, draining a three-ball from the corner opposite UD’s bench. Last year’s game saw 17 lead changes, three of those coming in the final 55 seconds of the game. We took home the dub, a final score of 66-64.
Last night was nearly a carbon copy of that game – this time with a different hero.Once again we came in as 3.5 point dogs, and for most of the first half you couldn’t argue it. The Fliers made 4 of 20 shots inside the arch in the first 20 minutes and got down by as many as 11 points. After going 8 of 29 from the field for a whopping 27.6%, it was a damn miracle that we went into the locker room only down 36-30. We were kept alive by 4 three-pointers and 10 made shots from the charity stripe. It was mind boggling how many easy buckets we whiffed on, while Rhode Island kept draining tough shot after tough shot. Kendall Pollard – once again playing with some serious swag – led the squad with 10 points. Kuran Iverson (cousin of a short man named Allen) led the Rams with 13.
Josh Cunningham is back, folks. I still can’t believe it, even when he was on the court for a total of 120 seconds last night. After tearing a ligament in his ankle in the Alabama game and missing 21 games, I think its safe to say he may need a few more games to get back into serviceable shape. Nothing says “I’m Back” like checking into the game for 30 seconds, picking up two fouls, then sitting back down on the bench. Celebrate we will, for Josh’s return was short but sweet for certain:
After being told they wouldn’t be allowed to touch the ice cream sundae bar if they lost, the boys came out hot and started the second half on a 9-2 run. And just like last year’s game, it turned into a back-and-forth dog fight the rest of the way, with eight ties and eleven lead changes. The other night I wrote that Xeyrius continues to blossom in front of us every night – today I’m writing that I have officially hitched my wagon to the X-Man. With emotions running high and people who took the money line beginning to contemplate suicide, X drained TWO three-balls in the final minute to put the Rams in a body bag. Credit to his quarterback Schoochie for delivering that final pass on a platter to the same corner that DURRELL smoked the game winner last year.
— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) February 11, 2017
Last night’s win put our senior boys in a tie for most wins by a class, and tied the Dayton record for most wins in a four-year period (97). We are now back up 1/2 a game over VCU atop the A10. KP led the squad once again with 17 points; X and Cooke followed with 13 apiece. If you’re slow in the head, I’m purposely choosing not to acknowledge the two players that continue to give me a stroke every game.
— Brian Frank (@BFRANK_DUH) February 11, 2017
Rest up and stay woke, y’all. I don’t have to remind you what we have in front of us this week.
P.S. Blog Grade: C+. Title Grade: A+