Dayton Flyers: Examining 18-0 run against La Salle

Five players score in decisive first-half run

One look at Dayton Flyers coach Anthony Grant after the game Thursday told the story of how much the 84-58 victory meant to him. He waited on the edge of the court before heading to the locker room, slapping hands with each of his players or patting them on the back as they filed past him.

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This was the first victory of the new decade and the new year, the first true road victory of the season and the first Atlantic 10 Conference victory of the season. More importantly, it was Dayton’s first victory at La Salle’s Tom Gola Arena since 2011.

Archie Miller lost at La Salle three time. Grant lost by a wide margin in his first chance two years ago. Dayton has not fared well at the home of the Explorers. Grant made sure all his players knew it, speaking about the history of the series several days before the Flyers returned to Gola Arena.

“I told the guys after the game a lot of Flyer fans and former players are excited about what they were able to get done here, “Grant said, “because a lot of teams have left here with a level of frustration about not being able to come out with the win. Kudos to our guys for coming in and doing what they did tonight.”

No. 20 Dayton (12-2) clinched this victory with an 18-0 run in the first half. It turned a 20-14 lead into a 38-14 advantage in 4 minutes, 23 seconds. Here’s a review of seven possessions that helped seal the victory.

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

1. Rodney Chatman, who scored nine points, lobs a pass from outside the 3-point line to Ryan Mikesell, who out-jumps two defenders to catch the ball. He goes right back up with a short jump shot and makes it. Lead: 22-14 lead. Time remaining: 10:32.

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2. Ibi Watson zips a pass to Chatman, who's wide open in front of the La Salle bench. He swishes a 3-pointer. Lead: 25-14. Time remaining: 9:51.

3. Chatman steps into La Salle's Jared Kimbrough after getting him off his feet and draws a foul on a long jump shot. He makes both free throws. Lead: 27-14. Time remaining: 8:46.

4. Chatman dribbles the baseline and passes the ball out to Mikesell behind the 3-point line. Mikesell beats his defender and runs straight into Kimbrough, bouncing off him and then putting up the shot. Mikesell makes the shot, gets the block call and then makes the free throw. He finished with 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Lead: 30-14. Time remaining: 8:12.

5. Obi Toppin, who led the Flyers with 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting and made all five of his free-throw attempts, posts up in the paint. Trey Landers feeds him the ball. Toppin makes a short hook shot. Lead: 32-14. Time remaining: 7:26.

In the midst of this run, Dayton keeps getting stops. After a basket at the 10:49 mark, La Salle misses eight shots in a row. Dayton’s defense is the key to every run, Grant said.

“It creates opportunities to get out in transition,” he said.

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

6. Jalen Crutcher, who scored 15 points, drives the baseline and gets a tough reverse layup to drop as he falls to the ground. Lead: 34-14. Time remaining: 6:53.

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7. Landers, who had a strong all-around game with 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists, leads the fast break and draws a foul as he makes a layup. He hits the free throw. Dayton made 17 of 20 free throws in the game. Lead: 38-14. Time remaining: 6:09.

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

La Salle (9-4) finally ended its five-minute scoring drought with 5:44 to play, but it trailed by 20-plus points the rest of the game.

Dayton shot 68 percent from the field in the first half and made 4 of 5 3-pointers. It has led at halftime in all 14 games this season but the 22-point lead against La Salle was the biggest of the season. One big run was all it took to make sure these Flyers didn’t follow the path of the recent UD teams that have visited La Salle.

“Everyone was passing to the ball to each other,” Toppin said. “We were unselfish. We were getting out and running. Every time we get out and run, we get easy buckets. That’s where the 18-0 run came from.”


Dayton at Saint Joseph’s, 1 p.m., ESPN+, 1290 and 95.7 WHIO

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