Photo Credit – Erik Schelkun
The scene was set for the making of a great game in Dayton, Ohio as the Alabama Crimson Tide travelled to play the Dayton Flyers on a Tuesday afternoon game which was televised nationally on ESPN as part of the College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. Students skipped class, and the rest of the 12,000+ crowd took off work to watch what some thought would be a great game. There was only one thing missing…. The game never materialized. For the first 10 minutes of the first half, it was back and forth. The score was tied at 18 with 9:28 left in the half and then Dayton used a 22 to 6 run to close out the half that was led by redshirt freshman Steve McElvene, junior Scoochie Smith, and redshirt junior Charles Cooke.
The Flyers never looked back as they cruised to an 80 to 48 victory. This was all done without Kendall Pollard for most of the game. He picked up his second foul with 16 minutes left in the first half. He sat for the rest of the half and when he came back in the second, he seemed to force a lot of shots and you could tell he was definitely in a rut because he sat for most of the first half. Towards the end of the game, the Red Scare (Dayton student section) was chanting “stick to football.” Dayton was a 10 point favorite coming in and I honestly thought that that was a little high. The Flyers definitely proved me wrong on that one!
Alabama really struggled to do anything right. They shot 17-57 (29.8%) from the field, 5-20 (25%) from the 3 and an abysmal 9-17 (52.9%) from the free throw line. Alabama’s largest lead was 2 just a minute and 20 seconds into the first half (2-0). Alabama would take the lead with 10 minutes left in the first half (18-16) but would never hold it again. The Crimson Tide had 34 rebounds but only dished out 8 assists on 17 made shots. Bama turned the ball over 20 times, had 3 blocks and 7 steals. Riley Norris led Alabama with 9 points on 3 of 6 shooting in 23 minutes. He was the only bright spot that Alabama had in the game.
The Flyers shot 28-60 (46.7%) from the field, 9-21 (42.9%) from three and 15-21(71.4%) from the line. Dayton had a pretty good advantage on points in the paint (32-16). The Flyers seemed to be very dominant from start to finish. They managed to collect 47 rebounds. They assisted on only 14 of 28 made shots and struggled with turnovers once again as they committed 18. They swatted 6 shots and had 11 steals. The Flyers were led by redshirt junior Charles Cooke who managed 21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steal in a team high 29 minutes. Scoochie Smith turned in a solid game with 15 points, 3 assists, and 4 steals in 28 minutes. Big Steve McElvene played very well. He turned in his first collegiate double double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. He also blocked a couple shots. Darrell Davis scored in double digits for the second straight game as he had 10 points in 22 minutes.
The Crimson Tide will head back home to Tuscaloosa to play Louisiana Lafayette Friday night at 8PM.
The Flyers will put their 24 game home winning streak on the line as they stay at home and play William & Mary (who just beat NC State on the road last week by 17) on Saturday afternoon at 2PM.
Alex Handorf ’17