Photo Credit – David Jablonski
Dayton Flyers: 77 Alabama Crimson Tide: 72
The Dayton Flyers headed down to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama in the ESPN Tip Off Marathon in front of a crowd of 10,000+. Kendall Pollard would miss a second straight game with a thigh contusion. Coach Archie Miller said postgame that they’re hoping to get him back by the tournament they play in next week. This was the second straight year that both teams participated in the marathon. Last year, the match up of the two teams was in Dayton where the Flyers blew the Crimson Tide out of the gym, 80-48. The Crimson Tide were looking to get a little payback this time around. Bama was ready to play as they started the game on a 10-2 run in the first 2:13 of the game. This prompted Archie Miller to use a timeout early in the game. The Flyers answered the bell and quickly went on an 8-0 run to tie the game up at 10 with 14:40 left in the half. The rest of the half was a back and forth affair with neither team able to separate themselves from one another. The Crimson Tide took a 36-31 lead into the locker room. Alabama secured a lead for most of the second half but the Flyers kept it very close. Dayton took a one point lead on a Charles Cooke layup with 7:05 left in the game. With 2:28 left, freshman forward Braxton Key hit a layup to give Alabama a 64-63 lead. A little less than a minute after this, sophomore forward Ryan Mikesell hit a corner three to put the Flyers up 4. The Flyers wouldn’t give up the lead. Dayton had a two on one run out with 8 seconds to go up 2. Senior guard Scoochie Smith gave the ball to sophomore forward Josh Cunningham who proceeded to dunk on an Alabama defender. The defender under cut Cunningham to try to cause a foul but all of Cunningham’s weight came down on his left leg. Cunningham immediately screamed in agony and was carried off the floor favoring his ankle. The Flyers are still awaiting results to see how long Cunningham will be out. Dayton has won 14 of the last 17 against SEC opponents.
Josh Cunningham just threw down the best Dayton dunk I've seen in years… And appears to be seriously injured. https://t.co/RLIh9M7Aq4
— Flyer Faithful (@Flyer_Faithful) November 15, 2016
The Crimson Tide shot 39% (23-59) from the field, 26.1% (6-23) from the three point line and 66.7% (20-30) from the free throw line. Alabama pulled down 40 rebounds and had 11 assists to 11 turnovers. They also had 3 blocks and 4 steals. Alabama dominated the boards 40-28 and second chance points 27-12. They were led by graduate transfer guard Corban Collins who had 15 points in 29 minutes. Braxton Key came off of the bench and added 15 points and 6 rebounds in 26 minutes. Redshirt freshman guard Dazon Ingram chipped in 14 points, 7 assists and 3 rebounds in 37 minutes.
The Flyers shot 54.5% (24-44) from the field, 50% (9-18) from the three and 60.6% (20-33) from the charity stripe. UD really needs to work on their free throw shooting. Dayton grabbed 28 rebounds and had 11 assists to 11 turnovers. They also had a block and 5 steals. The Flyers were led by Scoochie Smith who had 20 points, 4 assists and 3 steals in 34 minutes. Senior guard Charles Cooke notched his first double double of the year with 19 points and 10 rebounds in 35 minutes. Ryan Mikesell added 12 points and 5 boards in 25 minutes. Josh Cunningham was limited for the second straight game because of foul trouble. He only logged 15 minutes but had 12 points and 3 rebounds.
Alabama (1-1) (0-0 SEC) will stay at home to take on Ball State Friday, November 18 at 8PM CT.
Dayton (2-0) (0-0 A10) will head back home to take on (17) Saint Mary’s in a huge non-conference game Saturday, November 19th at 2PM.
Alex Handorf ’17