Photo Credit – Erik Schelkun
Follow him on Instagram @flyer_images
Remember that awful loss in early January to the La Salle Explorers who had an RPI in the 260’s at the time? The Flyers were able to avenge that loss Saturday in front of a sold out crowd at the University of Dayton Arena. This in no way replaces the loss to them earlier in the year, but it makes the Flyers feel a little better about themselves. The key to this game was junior forward Kendall Pollard, who missed that January 9th game at La Salle with a strained Achilles. According to David Jablonski of the Dayton Daily News, Pollard did not practice all week because of knee soreness and some soreness in his Achilles. Jablonski also noted that Pollard returned from Chicago the night before the game. He was attending the funeral of his 18 year old cousin who committed suicide earlier in the week. With a heavy heart and no practice time for the week, Pollard came out and played one of his best games of the year. He had 18 points and 8 rebounds and was also able to shoot 8-12 from the free throw line in 30 minutes. Kendall seemed to be locked in and would not let the Flyers lose to this team again even though they flirted with disaster for most of the game. At the 8:25 mark in the second half, La Salle’s junior guard Jordan Price hit a 3 to make the game 46-42 Flyers. The Flyers would then go on 13-0 run. They would hold the Explorers to 0 points in over 8 minutes in this span. La Salle finally scored with 12 seconds left in the game but it was far too late as the Flyers would prevail 59-44. The Flyers have now won 6 straight conference games since their loss to La Salle on January 9th. According to DaytonFlyers.com, this was the second straight game that the Flyers have held an opponent under 45 points. The Flyers are 7-0 when giving up less than 60 points. This is the best start to a season that head coach Archie Miller has had with Dayton.
The Explorers were held to 32% (16-50) from the field by the tenacious Flyers defense. La Salle shot 30.8% (8-26) from the three point line and 50% (4-8) from the free throw line. They had 23 rebounds, 10 assists, 9 turnovers, 1 block and 7 steals. La Salle was led by Jordan Price who had 17 points on 19 shots. He also managed 7 rebounds and 5 assists in 40 minutes. Sophomore big man Tony Washington chipped in 10 points and 8 rebounds in 30 minutes. The Explorers had 4 guys play 36 minutes or more as they don’t have much depth this year.
The Flyers shot 48.8% (20-41) from the field, 42.9% (3-7) from the three point line and 61.5% (16-26) from the free throw line. The Flyers dominated the boards as they had 40 to La Salle’s 23. Dayton had 11 assists, 14 turnovers, 5 blocks and 4 steals. As mentioned above, the Flyers were led by Kendall Pollard. Senior forward Dyshawn Pierre had 13 points and 9 rebounds in 34 minutes. Junior guard Kyle Davis had 12 points and 7 rebounds in 29 minutes. Junior guard Charles Cooke was held under 10 points for the first time in 10 games as he only managed 6 points on 8 shots. The Flyers dominated points in the paint, 30-12 and second chance points, 17-4.
The Explorers (5-14) (1-7 A10) will head home to Tom Gola arena to take on VCU Wednesday, February 3rd at 7PM.
The Flyers (18-3) (8-1 A10) will have a week off before they head to Fairfax, Virginia to take on George Mason Saturday, February 6th at 6PM.
Alex Handorf ’17