Photo Credit – DaytonFlyers.com
Dayton Flyers: 52 Saint Louis Billikens: 49 (OT)
In one of the sloppiest games of the year, the Dayton Flyers were able to overcome a ton of miscues and get out of St. Louis alive. Junior forward Kendall Pollard missed his fourth straight game for the Flyers. Coach Archie Miller said that he will be out for an extended period of time. For the second straight game, the opponent got out to a quick lead forcing Archie Miller to call a timeout early. The Billikens were up 7-0 with 17:27 left in the first half. Flyer big man Steve McElvene answered the call immediately after the timeout to get the Flyers on the board. Junior forward Reggie Agbeko would hit a free throw a minute later for the Billikens to make the game 8-2 at the 16:05 mark. This is when the game really started to get interesting. The Flyers would turn the ball over 5 times on their next 10 possessions and neither team scored for the next 5 plus minutes. Finally, sophomore guard Darrell Davis made a shot for the Flyers to make it 8-4 Billikens with 10:46 left. The two teams would trade buckets until senior forward Bobby Wehrli was able to rebound a Charles Cooke shot and tip it in. This would put the Flyers up 13-12 with 6:06 left in the half. Senior guard Ash Yacoubou would make two free throws for the Billikens a few minutes later to end a 9-0 Dayton run. This ended a 6+ minute drought for the Billikens. Dayton would head into the half down 19-14. THIS IS NOT A MISPRINT. The Flyers came out in the second half and shot the ball a little better. The second half consisted of a lot of back and forth as neither team looked like they wanted to win the game. The Billikens took their biggest lead of the half at the 7:22 mark when sophomore forward Milik Yarbrough hit a three pointer to make it 42-33. The Flyers answered on the next two possessions with two buckets by Kyle Davis to make it 42-38 Billikens with 6:11 left. With 4:33 left, junior guard Scoochie Smith made a layup and was fouled. He made the free throw for the Flyers that tied the game at 43. With 1:10 left, Yarbrough hit one of two free throws for Saint Louis to take a two point lead. After Steve McElvene missed the front end of a one and one with just over a minute left, the Billikens drove down the court and missed a layup. Scoochie Smith grabbed the rebound for the Flyers and took it coast to coast to tie the game with 36 seconds left. The Billikens had two opportunities to take the lead but missed both shots. Senior forward Dyshawn Pierre had a decent look with 2 seconds to go but missed it. This sent the game to overtime. Kyle Davis hit a transition three with 3:29 left in overtime to give the Flyers a 49-46 lead. The teams traded free throws and with 2 minutes left, the Flyers had a 50-47 lead. After many missed opportunities for the Billikens, Scoochie Smith made two free throws to ice it for the Flyers. Saint Louis made a layup at the buzzer that didn’t matter and the game was over. The X-factor for the Flyers in this game was Bobby Wehrli. A former walk-on who averages 6.2 minutes a game, played 26 in this game. He had 5 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists.
Inside the Numbers: St. Louis’ only basket in the final 12:22 of the game was the uncontested layup at the buzzer.
The voice of the Flyers, Larry Hansgen, said it best after the game.
@DaytonTrueTeam needed a gut-check-find-a-way win more than a rout
Dayton is tied for 1st in the A10 after VCU laid an egg at George Mason. VCU and St. Joe’s sit at the top with Dayton.
Saint Louis shot 28.3% (15-53) from the field, 25% (6-24) from the three point line and 65% (13-20) from the free throw line. The Billikens were able to pull down 39 boards and had only 7 assists to 17 turnovers. They also had 3 blocks and 7 steals. Milik Yarbrough came off the bench and led the Billikens with 16 points and 5 rebounds in 32 minutes. Ash Yacoubou had 12 points and 6 rebounds in 38 minutes. Reggie Agbeko was huge in this game. He only had 11 points and 4 rebounds in 31 minutes but he was killing the Flyers in the pick and roll game.
Dayton shot 31.7% (19-60) from the field, 24% (6-25) from the three point line and 53.3% (8-15) from the free throw line. This is the third straight game that the Flyers have taken 20+ threes. Dayton had 45 rebounds and only 7 assists to 17 turnovers. They also had 4 blocks and 7 steals. Scoochie Smith led the Flyers with 16 points and 7 rebounds in 32 minutes. He also had 5 turnovers to only 1 assist. Kyle Davis came up big in the second half for the Flyers. He had 10 of his 13 points in the half. He also had 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and 1 steal in 29 minutes. Senior forward Dyshawn Pierre struggled shooting the ball (2-10 for 7 points) but came up big in other areas. He led the team in rebounds with 11 and had 2 assists and 3 steals in 41 minutes.
Saint Louis (10-17) (5-10 A10) will head to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to take on St. Joe’s Sunday, February 28th at 12PM.
Dayton (22-5) (12-3 A10) will head back home to take on Rhode Island Saturday, February 27th at 12PM. The game is on ESPN2.
Alex Handorf ’17