Freshman guard Jordan Davis rebounded from his worst shooting performance of the season with one of his best, helping lead the Dayton Flyers to an 88-73 victory Wednesday against Duquesne at UD Arena.
Davis made 1 of 8 shots from the field and scored 3 points Saturday in an 86-82 double-overtime loss at Massachusetts. He made 7 of 8 shots in this game, including 4 of 5 3-pointers, and finished with 18 points.
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Davis was prouder of his defensive effort. That's been his focus of late. It's one reason he played 49 of 50 minutes at UMass despite the shooting struggles.
"Personally, I just wanted to come out and play hard and play defense," Davis said.
In the previous five games, four of which Dayton lost, Davis had scored in double figures only once. He showed his scoring skills against Duquesne and got the Flyers going in the second half. Dayton made its first 10 shots after halftime. Davis made two 3-pointers in that span.
Grant, too, mentioned the effort by Davis on defense first.
"(Rene Castro-Caneddy) made a couple tough shots over him," Grant said. "Outside of that, I thought he was locked in in terms of what he needs to do defensively. It's great to see because he has had some tough assignments over the season. It's just been, 'Let's continue to get better and learn through film.' Our staff has done a really good job of continuing to teach and mold and mentor. I told him tonight he did a really good job defensively."
Short bench: Dayton forward Xeyrius Williams didn't practice Tuesday because of an illness and didn't play Wednesday. Grant said he hopes he'll be ready to go in the next game.
Records update: Darrell Davis made 5 of 8 shots from the field, 2 of 3 of 3-pointers and 8 of 10 free throws, scoring 20 points. He has 912 points in his career. He moved into 60th place in UD history, passing Mark Jones (894), Anthony Grant (902) and George Janky (910). He's one point behind Kevin Dillard (913).
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Looking ahead: The Flyers (11-12, 5-6) play at Virginia Commonwealth (14-9, 6-4) at 6 p.m. Saturday in Richmond, Va. Dayton won the first game 106-79 on Jan. 12 at UD Arena.
Around the A-10: Dayton (11-12, 5-6) avoided its first three-game losing streak of the season and moved from a tie for eighth place in the A-10 into eighth place all by itself as George Mason (10-14, 4-7) lost 67-66 at Fordham (8-15, 3-8) and La Salle (10-14, 4-7) lost 80-69 at George Washington (10-14, 3-8).
St. Bonaventure (17-6, 7-4) beat Saint Louis 79-56 in Olean, N.Y. The Billikens (13-12, 6-6) and Dukes (15-10, 6-6) own a half-game lead over Dayton.