The weather outside was frightful. The roads were awful. UD Arena stood alone in a frozen wasteland Friday for the Dayton Flyers as a haven where all the shots fall through the net — well most of them — and dreams do come true, even elusive ones about winning two games in a row.
Dayton looked like the young, scrappy and hungry team its fans hope to see on a more consistent basis and recorded its second victory of the season against a team picked to finish in the top four of the Atlantic 10, routing Virginia Commonwealth 106-79. Dayton set a school record with 66 points in the first half.
» RELATED: Game goes on despite inclement weather
Seventeen games into Anthony Grant’s first season, the Flyers (9-8, 3-2) finally have a winning streak, and they have a winning record for the first time since Nov. 25.
“I’m obviously proud of the effort our guys put forth tonight,” Grant said. “I thought from the start we played with great energy, great focus, great purpose. It’s great to look at the stat sheet and see the offensive numbers we had: 34 assists on 39 baskets, 17 3s. But what’s impressive to me is our ability on the backboard tonight. We knew that would be a challenge. VCU came in with a 10-plus rebounding margin.”
Dayton out-rebounded VCU 33-26. Jalen Crutcher and Trey Landers each had eight rebounds. Josh Cunningham had six. Darrell Davis had five.
“I thought our guys did a hell of a job competing tonight on the glass,” Grant said. “We got a lot of great effort from a lot of people.”
Dayton scored 100 points for the first time since Feb. 1, 2015, in a 101-77 victory against Fordham. This tied for the 24th highest-scoring game in school history. It’s Dayton’s highest points total since a 110-52 victory against Prairie View in 1997. Dayton also set a school record for points scored in an Atlantic 10 game.
“I’m happy with the win obviously,” Grant said, “but it’s one game on a long conference schedule. Hopefully, it gives us an understanding of what we’re capable of.”