Photo Credit – Erik Schelkun
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Dayton Flyers: 68 Vanderbilt Commodores: 63
Ryan Mikesell posted his first career double double Wednesday night as the Flyers took care of the struggling Commodores. Dayton opened up the game strong as they took an early 7-0 lead in the first few minutes of the game. Vanderbilt was able to fight back to get within one with 8:24 left in the first half. Halfway through the half, Vanderbilt went to a zone that forced Dayton to take a bunch of threes that were not falling. During this span, Dayton missed 8 straight field goals. The Flyers really struggled to do anything right in the half court after the Commodores made this switch. Vanderbilt was able to even the score up at 19 after a made three from junior guard Matthew Fisher-Davis. The Commodores took a 23-21 lead into the half thanks to a buzzer beater by freshman guard Payton Willis. The start of the second half was very similar to the start of the first half for the Flyers. They started the half on a 8-0 run to take a 29-23 lead just minutes into the second half. Surprisingly, Vanderbilt went away from their zone defense after this. Neither team was able to separate themselves from each other until the 5:41 mark when the Flyers took a 10 point lead on a Mikesell fast break layup. Vanderbilt then answered immediately with a Fisher-Davis three to cut it back to 7. Dayton scored 4 straight to stretch the lead to 11 with 2:33 left. Vanderbilt was able to cut the lead to 4 twice late in the game, but that’s the closest they would get. The key to this victory for the Flyers was holding senior forward Luke Kornet in check. He only scored 8 points on 12 shots. He missed two dunks and seemed to look out of sorts the entire game. He wasn’t able to get anything going. This was Dayton’s 6th straight win against an SEC school.
Vanderbilt shot 35.4% (23-65) from the field, 29% (9-31) from the three point line and 100% (8-8) from the foul line. They had 44 rebounds, 13 assists, 13 turnovers, 7 blocks and 3 steals. Leading the way for the Commodores was Matthew Fisher-Davis with 25 points in 29 minutes. Senior guard Nolan Cressler came off the bench and scored 11 points in 18 minutes. Junior guard Riley LaChance, who was leading the country in 3-point percentage coming into the game, went 0-4 from three and had 0 points.
Dayton shot 39% (23-59) from the field, 31.8% (7-22) from the three point line and 78.9% (15-19) from the free throw line. They had 38 rebounds, 17 assists, 9 turnovers, 3 blocks and 6 steals. Senior guard Charles Cooke led the Flyers with 19 points and 7 rebounds in 37 minutes. He has scored in double digits in all 11 games this year. Senior forward Kendall Pollard had 13 points in 29 minutes. Sophomore forward Ryan Mikesell had 12 points and 11 rebounds (career high) in 29 minutes.
Vanderbilt (6-6) (0-0 SEC) starts SEC play Thursday, December 29th at LSU at 8PM.
Dayton (8-3) (0-0 A10) has a quick turnaround as they face VMI at home Friday at 7PM.
Alex Handorf ’17