ANALYSIS: Five takeaways from Dayton’s victory against Southeastern Louisiana

Camara, Holmes put up big numbers in second straight victory

The Dayton Flyers are a winning team again. That’s a small accomplishment in a season that began with the team in the top 25 and dreaming the biggest dreams, but it’s a baby step in the right direction.

Dayton (5-4) beat Southeastern Louisiana 80-74 on Saturday, improving to 5-0 at UD Arena.

“I thought today was a really tough test,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “Credit to Southeastern Louisiana. Watching them on film, we felt they were a very dangerous team. Right from the jump, they were able to take the fight to our guys, and we had to respond.”

Here are five takeaways from Dayton’s ninth game:

1. Dayton took control in the final 10 minutes: The game was tied at 51-51 with 11:16 left. Back-to-back baskets by Toumani Camara, a jumper by Mike Sharavjamts, a 3-pointer by Mustapha Amzil and then a 3-pointer by Mike Sharavjamts led to a 12-0 run over the next four-plus minutes.

2. This was R.J. Blakney’s best offensive game since the opener: Blakney made 2 of 3 3-pointers and 5 of 5 free throws and scored 11 points. He scored in double figures for the first time since had 13 points against Lindenwood in the first game of the season. He had missed all 11 of his 3-point attempts in the previous six games.

3. Southeastern Louisiana stayed in the game by making 3-pointers: Grant called the 3-pointer the great equalizer, and the Lions made 9 of 26. Christian Agnew made 5 of 11 and led the team with 20 points. He scored 18 in the first half as the Lions built a 38-37 halftime lead.

“He got it going,” Grant said, “and made 5 out of 7 (in the first half) and kind of changed the game and changed the momentum in their favor. Credit to our guys. We always talk about how it’s going to be a 40-minute game. Basketball is a game of runs. I thought in the second half, we really set the tone defensively, especially in the first 12 minutes.”

4. DaRon Holmes II continues to get to the line: Holmes made 7 of 11 free throws and scored 19 points. He made 8 of 14 free throws in the previous game against Western Michigan and 7 of 11 in a loss to Brigham Young. He ranks 31st in the country in free-throw rate, which measures a player’s ability to get to the line.

Holmes leads Dayton with 15.9 points per game through nine games.

5. Dayton avoided the upset that Wyoming couldn’t: Southeastern Louisiana (4-5) beat another of Dayton’s non-conference opponents, Wyoming, 76-72 on Nov. 13 but has otherwise been unimpressive and finished 0-2 on an Ohio road trip this week. The Lions lost 95-63 at Xavier on Wednesday.

This was the 300th career victory for Grant. He’s 107-56 at Dayton and 300-166 in his career in 15 seasons as a head coach.

STAR OF THE GAME

Toumani Camara scored 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds. He made 2 of 4 3-pointers after making 2 of 2 on Wednesday in a victory against Western Michigan. He’s averaging 11.0 points and 9.3 rebounds.

STAT OF THE GAME

All 80 points came from Dayton’s starters. Of the three reserves who saw action, only Koby Brea attempted a shot, and he was 0-for-2. Brea played 17 minutes. Zimi Nwokeji saw three minutes of action. Brady Uhl played one minute.

Amzil had 16 points. Sharavjamts had 14.

LOOKING AHEAD

Dayton plays Virginia Tech at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Blacksburg, Va. The Hokies (7-1) beat Minnesota 67-57 at home on Monday and play North Carolina (5-3) at home on Sunday. They received one vote in the Associated Press top-25 poll this week.

Dayton beat Virginia Tech 62-57 last season at UD Arena and 89-62 in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational in 2019.

Dayton has not played at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg since a 64-52 loss in 2010. Dayton is 0-5 in that arena.

WEDNESDAY’S GAME

Dayton at Virginia Tech, 8 p.m., ACC Network, 1290, 95.7

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