Family, friends enjoy Dayton freshman Scoochie Smith’s homecoming

There was an extra reason the fans turned out Wednesday at Fordham’s Rose Hill Gym. UD freshman point guard Scoochie Smith grew up about a 10-minute drive from the Fordham campus. His friends and family members were all over the gym.

A group behind the bench, including his aunt and three cousins, stood out because they all wore white Dayton Flyers T-shirts and held up signs supporting Smith throughout the game.

Smith rewarded them with four points in the first half as the Flyers overcame an early nine-point deficit to lead 39-36 at halftime and eventually win 80-68.

“It was a good feeling to get a lot of support from family and friends back home,” Smith said.

Smith said he didn’t feel any extra pressure to play better.’

“It’s all about the win,” he said. “We got the win.”

Kevin Watson, a coach in the Bronx who said he’s known Smith for 10 years and works for, said he’s happy with what he’s seeing from Smith.

“He’s representing New York very well,” Smith said. “Considering he’s a freshman, he’s making the adjustments to this level. I’m really impressed.”

Big men out: Matt Kavanaugh and Alex Gavrilovic didn’t make the trip to Fordham. Both are recovering from concussions. Archie Miller said Monday they wouldn’t play.

“They’ll be evaluated when we get back (from New York),” Miller said. “I don’t expect them to be available on Saturday.

Series history: Dayton extended its winning streak against Fordham to eight straight games. It has won 13 of the last 14 meetings.

Next game: The Flyers flew home after the game. They will get back on a plane Friday to travel to Richmond, Va.

The Spiders (11-6, 1-1 A-10) have not played since beating Fordham 77-74 in overtime Saturday. Richmond ranks 11th in the Atlantic 10 in scoring offense (69.6 points per game) and third in defense (65.5).

The Ken Pomeroy website currently gives the Flyers a 47 percent chance of beating Richmond. All of Richmond’s losses are to teams ranked in the top 90 of the Pomeroy ratings. The Spiders have one victory against a top 100 team: No. 96 Delaware.

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