After the game-tying 3-pointer by Davidson star Kellan Grady with 3 seconds left sent the game to the extra period, Dayton outscored Davidson 17-6 in overtime, ending the game on an 8-0 run to win 89-78. It was the first double-digit victory of the season for Dayton even though the score masked how close the game was for the first 43 minutes.
That discussion in the huddle with under four minutes remaining in the second half, at which point Dayton led 65-61, did not lead to an immediate victory thanks to the shot by Grady, but Grant said it was great to see the leadership. Players-only huddles are not common.
“Our veteran guys understood the situation,” Grant said, “and what we needed just in terms of what to do on the defensive end, being able to get stops and rebound the ball and those type of things.”
Watson said Grant sat down and listened to what the players were saying among themselves.
“It was definitely unusual for us to do it by ourselves,” Watson said. “It speaks to having some veterans who know what they’re doing.”
This is the second straight season Dayton decided not to elect official captains. The thinking last season was it was a veteran group with plenty of leaders, and official titles weren’t needed. This season, Dayton has a roster that ranks 64th in the country in experience, though four of the eight players who saw action Friday had not played college basketball before this season.
Watson has tried to step up as a leader since Chase Johnson left the team and Rodney Chatman underwent hand surgery.
“Those are two guys who are older and have been around basketball for a while,” Watson said. “Rod is a guy who was a really big leader. He’s vocal and shows it. Being a louder voice is all I can do right now.”