Photo Credit – Erik Schelkun
In front of 10,469 fans at Memorial Gym in Nashville, Tennessee, the Dayton Flyers rallied to beat the Vanderbilt Commodores 72-67. This is the 12th time in the last 15 games that the Flyers have beaten an SEC foe. Down 16 with 3:02 left in the first half, Archie Miller had to call a 30 second timeout to try and stop a 12-0 run that the Commodores had built. The Flyers stopped the run after Darrell Davis hit a three to make the score 38-25 with 2:36 left in the first half. What happened next completely changed the game.
In Vanderbilt’s next 6 possessions before halftime, they would turn the ball over 4 times. All but one of these turnovers turned into points for the Flyers as they were able to cut the deficit to 8 going into halftime. The Flyers had all of the momentum going into the second half and it showed. Dayton would go on a 27-7 run starting late in the first half and ending midway through the second half. UD would take the lead with 13:06 left in the game and never give it up again.
The win for the Flyers was capped off by a 3 pointer by Kendall Pollard as the shot clock was winding down with 43 seconds left. This put the Flyers up 69-62. The game wasn’t over yet though as Vandy clawed back. With 13 seconds left, Vandy had a chance to tie it with a layup but Wade Baldwin IV missed it. The Flyers struggled to put this game completely away as they missed 3 of 5 free throws down the stretch, but they still managed to come away with the win. This will be a huge resume builder for the Flyers when tournament time comes.
Vanderbilt shot 41.2% (21-51) from the field, 35.3% (6-17) from three and 76% (19-25) from the line. They came out like a house on fire to start the game but only managed to shoot 24% from the field and 22.2% from the three in the second half.
The Commodores grabbed 31 rebounds, had 6 assists, but 13 turnovers. They also managed 6 blocks and 3 steals. Junior big man Damian Jones led the way for the Commodores with 18 points and 8 rebounds in 33 minutes. Sophomore guard Wade Baldwin IV also chipped in 18 points. Sophomore guards Riley LaChance and Matthew Fisher-Davis each scored 11 points for Vandy.
The Flyers shot 45% (27-60) from the field, 33.3% (5-15) from the three and really struggled from the line only shooting 59.1% (13-22). Dayton dominated the boards in this game grabbing 15 offensive boards and 26 defensive boards totaling 41 rebounds. They had only 9 assists and 12 turnovers while swatting one shot.
The Flyers dominated the paint 40-22. UD also had 7 steals. Junior forward Kendall Pollard led the Flyers with 21 points. He also had 3 rebounds and a steal in 24 minutes. Junior guard Scoochie Smith struggled a bit only shooting 5 of 16 from the field but still managed 13 points, 5 boards, 4 assists and 2 steals in 35 minutes. Freshman big man Steve McElvene had 10 points and 9 rebounds in 19 minutes.
Vanderbilt will remain at home and play Wofford on Saturday December, 19th at 6PM.
The Flyers will return home and put a 26 game home winning streak on the line against Chattanooga Saturday December, 12th at 7PM.
Alex Handorf ’17