Photo Credit – Erik Schelkun
After surviving a barrage of 3’s in the first half by the North Florida Ospreys, the Flyers used a big second half on both sides of the ball to come away with a big win 86-71 in front of 12,383 people at UD Arena. The Flyers improved their home win streak to 26 which is currently tied for the eighth-longest streak in Division 1. Dayton really struggled to defend the 3 in the first half as the Ospreys hit 9 of 16 from behind the arc. It seemed like every 3 that the Ospreys would throw up somehow went in. Senior forward Beau Beech led the charge in the first half as he connected on all 5 of his three point attempts. He managed 15 points, just off 3’s, while playing the whole first half for the Ospreys. The Flyers took a slim lead into the second half, 38-35, but that would change quickly in the second half. Dayton opened up the second half on a 23 to 5 run and would never look back. The run lasted just over 7 minutes and the Ospreys were not able to recover, even with great three point shooting.
The Ospreys couldn’t put any kind of run together after the run the Flyers made. The closest that they got for the rest of the game was 13 with 3 minutes to go in the game. This was a really big win for the Flyers in two aspects; forgetting about the Xavier blowout less than a week ago and taking care of business and the other aspect was beating a solid team who has picked up a couple good wins already this season. Even though it is early in the season and the RPI will change a lot over the course of the year, according to ESPN, the Flyers sit at 13 right now with a strength of schedule of 28. This will be something to continue to watch as the season unfolds.
North Florida shot 41.3% (26-63) from the field, 43.8% (14-32) from three and 71.4% (5-7) from the line. This team lives and dies by the three and even though they shot fairly well from the three, they were only able to make 12 shots that weren’t behind the three point line. It is very tough to win games like that. The Ospreys pulled down 31 boards, had 17 assists and 11 turnovers. They also had 4 blocks and 4 steals. As mentioned before, Beau Beech was the main guy for the Ospreys, but he had a rough second half only connecting on 1 of 7 shots. He finished the game with 18 points on 6-13 shooting, 6 of 8 from three point land, 4 boards, 3 assists, a block and a steal in 38 minutes. Junior guard Dallas Moore had 15 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Junior forward Chris Davenport had 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 blocks in 24 minutes. He also fouled out after receiving a technical foul late in the game after a scuffle during a timeout with Dayton guard/forward Charles Cooke near the North Florida bench. Charles Cooke also received a technical during the scuffle. North Florida head coach Matthew Driscoll also received a technical foul in this game.
Dayton shot 54.8% (34-62) from the field, 40% (6-15) from three and 60% (12-20) from the free throw line. The Flyers pulled down 41 boards, had 24 assists and only 10 turnovers. This is by far the best assist to turnover ratio the Flyers have had all year. They also blocked 7 shots and had 4 steals. The Flyers dominated points in the paint 46-18. Leading the way for the Flyers was junior guard/forward Charles Cooke. He managed 24 points on 8 of 15 shooting. He also had 7 boards, 5 assists, 2 blocks and a steal in 32 minutes. Cooke came back strong after an abysmal performance against Xavier last week. Junior guard Scoochie Smith had 15 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists in 33 minutes. Steve McElvene had a monster game for the Flyers scoring 14 points and grabbing a season high 16 rebounds while blocking 4 shots in 28 minutes of action. Junior forward Kendall Pollard had 11 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds. Sophomore guard Darrell Davis shot himself out of a slump and managed 10 points on 4 of 8 shooting.
North Florida will return home to take on Coastal Georgia on Saturday at 7PM.
The Flyers will head to Vanderbilt for a huge game Wednesday at 9PM. This game will be televised on ESPNU.
Alex Handorf ’17