This was anyone’s ballgame up until the six minute mark of the second half. After trading leads for seemingly the whole game, UConn went on a scoring binge while Dayton failed to find the hoop. The Huskies outscored UD 16-6 over the backend of the second half and came away with a 75-64 victory over the Flyers.
UD has failed to get it going from the perimeter in San Juan. The Flyers are a combined 5-of-31 (16%) from three-point land in the PR Tipoff thus far, that’s ice cold. Jordan Sibert, Dayton’s chieftain from outside, has been particularly awful, hitting just 2 of his 18 (11%) attempts from behind the arc this season. That likely won’t last, but it certainly cut into Dayton’s ability to stretch the floor against UConn. To Sibert’s credit, he quickly abandoned his outside shot and made a concerted effort to take the ball to the hoop. The Ohio State transfer (as he will forever be known) finished with a team-high 18 points, converting 7-of-8 from the charity stripe.
The refs certainly made their presence known throughout the game. The officials seemed to call things tight on UConn in the first half and returned the favor on Dayton in the second. Ryan Boatright’s quickness and “experienced gamesmanship” resulted in foul trouble for both Kyle Davis and Scoochie Smith. Boatright got to the rim with ease and basically had his mail forwarded to the foul-line. The Huskie senior led all scorers with twenty points.
Kendall Pollard picked up where he left off against Texas A&M, the sophomore was Dayton’s key offensive catalyst in the first half. The Flyers found themselves down ten midway through the first half and Pollard’s play helped springboard Dayton back into the game. KP’s sorta-kinda-dumpy body will soon become all the rage in the Gem City.
The final score is not indicative of today’s performance. The Flyers looked every bit the equal of UConn’s throughout the contest. Dayton actually out-rebounded the Huskies and played decently defensively. UD simply could not get untracked from the perimeter and UConn stepped up when the game was on the line.
This game will do nothing but help the Flyers down the line. The Huskies will likely win the AAC and make the NCAA tournament. Today’s tilt was merely a measuring stick of where the Flyers are early in the season and where they have to go to compete for forty minutes with teams of Connecticut’s ilk.
Now let’s pray for a UD/West Virginia matchup on Sunday.