One week after sitting on the bench with a contraption on his left shoulder that made it seem as if he would be out of action for weeks, Dayton Flyers guard Trey Landers found himself in the middle of the action and playing well against Saint Louis.
Landers scored eight points, all in the second half, in 17 minutes in a 70-62 victory at UD Arena. He may have to play through pain the rest of the season after suffering the shoulder injury in practice Feb. 11, but he looked like the typical Landers in this game.
» TWENTY PHOTOS: Top shots from Saturday’s game
“I’ve been doing this for a while,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said, “and he’s one of the toughest guys I’ve had the pleasure to coach, just in terms of what he brings to the table, his voice, his toughness, his resiliency on the court. It really means a lot to our team, and it goes beyond whatever numbers show up on the stat sheet.”
Landers made his only 3-point attempt. He had been 0-for-12 from long range since the start of Atlantic 10 play. That slump caused Landers to stop shooting the 3. He averaged 2.3 3-point attempts in 13 non-conference games and has averaged 1.0 3-point attempt in 13 A-10 games.
“I’m really happy to see the 3 go in because he works at it,” Grant said, “and he’s had his difficulty there over the course of the season.”
Perfect games: Dayton forward Josh Cunningham made 6 of 6 shots and scored 21 points Tuesday in a 74-73 victory against Davidson and made all five of his field-goal attempts against Saint Louis, scoring 13 points.
» GAME STORY: Grant calls it a ‘character win’ for Dayton
March forecast: The Flyers earned a mention in ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi’s latest NCAA tournament prediction.
On Twitter on Friday, Lunardi listed Dayton (17-9) in the “Next Four Out” category, along with Lipscomb, South Carolina and Georgetown, meaning he sees UD as one of the top eight teams on the wrong side of the bubble. Just ahead of those four teams were Clemson, Utah State, San Francisco and Saint Mary’s.
Maui reminder: The Maui Invitational delivered an eight-foot, handcrafted, custom-made surfboard to Dayton during a presentation in the first half. Dayton will make its fourth appearance in the event in November. The field also includes: BYU, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan State, UCLA, Virginia Tech and Chaminade.
Looking ahead: The Flyers play Massachusetts (10-17, 3-11) at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Amherst, Mass. The game will be televised on ESPN+ and NESN (New England Sports Network). Dayton has lost four straight games at the Mullins Center.
UMass rallied from a 56-37 second-half deficit to beat Saint Joseph’s 80-79 on Saturday. Carl Pierre made the game-winning jumper with three seconds to play.
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