Dayton Flyers: 85 Richmond Spiders: 84
In a must win game for the Flyers, junior guard Scoochie Smith had a career game that led to a big win at Richmond. For the first time since February 9th, the Flyers had all of their players available. They have yet to lose a game this season with the full roster available (10-0). Dayton jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the first four minutes of the game. This is the first time that they haven’t struggled in the first few minutes in 3 games. With 8:49 left in the first half, sophomore guard Darrell Davis hit a three for the Flyers to break a tie and put them up 20-17. Then, Dayton started to look really sluggish. Over the next 4 minutes, the Spiders went on a 15-4 run to put them ahead 32-24. This was looking like another game where the wheels would just fall off for the Flyers. They would go into halftime down 37-32. Then Scoochie Smith decided that Dayton wasn’t going to have another bad loss on their resume. Scooch came out and scored the first 4 points of the second half to get the Flyers within one. The Spiders would then go on a couple little runs and all of the sudden led 58-47 with 11:39 left. The Flyers kept cutting the lead here and there and eventually tied the game up at 63 with 5:40 left. After junior guard Charles Cooke hit a free throw to make the game 64-63 Flyers, they didn’t lose the lead again. The end would still be a nail biter as Dayton didn’t stretch the lead out. There was a lot of back and forth from each team and a ton of free throws at the end of the game but the Flyers were able to pull it out. Scoochie Smith scored 24 of his career high 26 points in the second half. After the game, head coach Archie Miller said that junior forward Kendall Pollard was playing on one leg. Pollard returned a game ago because of left knee soreness. This is the first time the Flyers have won at Richmond since 2004. Dayton is now tied for second in the A10 with St. Bonaventure and St. Joe’s at 13-4.
DaytonDailyNews writer David Jablonski with a couple tweets from the postgame conference.
Archie Miller: “Scoochie Smith played the game of his career.”
Dyshawn Pierre said there was a players-only meeting, on top of a meeting with the coaches, after the loss Saturday.
In case you missed it, CBSSports did a feature on Scoochie Smith before the game.
Richmond shot 52.6% (30-57) from the field, 23.5% (4-17) from the three point line and 74.1% (20-27) from the free throw line. They had 23 rebounds and 18 assists to only 5 turnovers. The Spiders also had 2 blocks and 8 steals. Leading the way for Richmond was junior forward TJ Cline who had a career high 36 points in 29 minutes. Junior guard ShawnDre’ Jones had 20 points in 33 minutes. Senior forward Terry Allen had 16 points and 4 rebounds in 35 minutes.
Dayton shot 58% (29-50) from the field, 60% (9-15) from the three point line and 64.3% (18-28) from the foul line. They had 34 rebounds and only 10 assists to 12 turnovers. The Flyers also had one block but were held without a steal for the first time in 83 games. Leading the way for Dayton was Scoochie Smith with 26 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in 35 minutes. Charles Cooke had 21 points and 5 rebounds in 37 minutes. Senior forward Dyshawn Pierre had 15 points and 10 rebounds in 34 minutes.
The Spiders (15-14) (7-10 A10) will head to Fairfax, Virginia to take on George Mason Saturday, March 5th at 6PM.
The Flyers (23-6) (13-4 A10) will head back home to take on VCU Saturday, March 5th at 8PM. This game could decide who wins the A10.
Alex Handorf ’17