Dayton Flyers overwhelmed by VCU in last eight minutes

Second-chance points by Rams doom UD

A Virginia Commonwealth fan dressed as the late pop star Prince applauded the Dayton Flyers as they filed past the student section on the way to the locker room.

Prince liked the effort, though effort only gets you so far in a game like this. The Flyers lost 73-68 Friday at the Siegel Center because they weren’t big enough or physical enough or tough enough under the basket.

VCU outscored Dayton 26-8 on second-chance points, taking advantage of an 18-8 offensive-rebound advantage and a 41-24 overall rebound margin.

“They did a really good job the last eight minutes of controlling the game by using the paint, whether that was with the post game and or their guards attacking and making us help,” Dayton coach Archie Miller said. “We just could not keep the ball off the glass. It was just too overwhelming in the last eight minutes.”

Here’s a quick rundown of the game:

What it means: Dayton (15-5, 6-2) saw its three-game winning streak end. It fell into a three-way tie atop the Atlantic 10 Conference with VCU (16-5, 6-2) and Richmond (12-8, 6-2). Dayton plays VCU again on March 1 at UD Arena on Senior Night.

Where it went wrong: Dayton led 48-46 at the 9:29 mark after Darrell Davis got a lucky bounce on a 3-pointer from the corner. That was its last lead.

JeQuan Lewis hit a 3-pointer on VCU’s next possession. That started an 11-1 VCU run over the next five-plus minutes. Davis missed the front end of a 1 and 1 in that stretch, and Kendall Pollard made 1 of 2 free throws on another possession. UD missed three shots in the span and turned the ball over three times.

“We knew we weren’t going to have the luxury of missing free throws,” Miller said. “We were going to have to convert easy baskets. We knew that. I thought in the second half, we left some ones we should have put down go.”

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Credit: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

When the game changed: Dayton pulled ahead 31-21 in the first half. The Flyers made 7 of 7 free throws in the half and 12 of 23 shots from the field. Pollard scored eight of his team-high 19 points in the half.

However, Scoochie Smith picked up his second foul with 5:55 left and UD leading 29-21. He was controlling the game at that point. With Smith on the bench the rest of the half, VCU outscored UD 10-4. The Flyers went through a similar dry spell with Smith on the bench with foul trouble in their previous loss at UMass.

“I’ve been getting little ticky-tack fouls,” Smith said.

Miller said the fouls took Smith out of his rhythm.

“He was playing terrific at that point in time,” Miller said. “We still went into halftime with a lead. I thought we were fine. In the first five minutes of the second half, we didn’t do a good enough job getting back. They got some easy ones.”

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