Dayton trying to avoid first back-to-back A-10 losses in three years

Dayton's Koby Brea brings the ball up the court against George Mason on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2020, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Dayton's Koby Brea brings the ball up the court against George Mason on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2020, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

Dayton plays on the road against Davidson at 9 p.m. Friday

For the second time in seven days, the Dayton Flyers find themselves trying to bounce back from an unexpected loss.

Losing to La Salle was one thing. Dayton has lost regularly to La Salle in recent years — just not at UD Arena, where they saw a 14-game home winning streak in the series end Dec. 30. Losing to Fordham, a team Dayton had dominated home and away since 2006, on Tuesday took Dayton to a new low point. UD fans teased Virginia Commonwealth fans for years about VCU losing at Fordham in 2017.

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“VCU lost to Fordham; people forget that,” was the common post on Twitter.

That tradition ended Tuesday when the Flyers lost 55-54 at Rose Hill Gym. VCU fans had a fun night on Twitter, getting their revenge.

Three days later, Dayton (5-3, 1-2) plays Davidson (6-4, 2-1) in North Carolina. It’s the first of two 9 p.m. games on ESPN networks Dayton will play. This game will be on ESPN2. The Flyers play at Duquesne at 9 p.m. Feb. 2 on ESPNU. Dayton hasn’t lost back-to-back games in Atlantic 10 Conference play since it had four two-game losing streaks in 2018.

What will Dayton have to do better Friday? Take your pick of stats from the Fordham game.

“I don’t think there was any phase of the game where we performed the way we wanted to,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said.

Turnovers remain a big problem. The Flyers rank 326th in the country out of the 342 programs playing this season in turnover percentage, committing turnovers on 26.8 percent of their possessions.

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Dayton had 17 turnovers against Fordham. A number were charge calls, and there were a few questionable ones. The last turnover was all on Dayton, though.

The Flyers led 52-50 with 1:17 to go when they were whistled for a shot-clock violation. Jalen Crutcher released a 3-point attempt just after the buzzer and made it. If it had counted, it would have ended a streak of nine straight missed 3-pointers.

Three-point accuracy has also hurt Dayton in its two A-10 losses. lt made 4 of 17 against La Salle and 4 of 23 against Fordham. In its last three victories, on the other hand, Dayton has made 24 of 62 3-pointers (38.7 percent).

Asked if Tuesday’s shooting was an aberration or something else, Grant said, “I wish I had an answer. I don’t.”

Injury news: Dayton guard Rodney Chatman will miss six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery Wednesday to repair a torn ligament in his right hand, UD announced.

“Surgery was successful,” Chatman wrote on Twitter. “Appreciate the ones who said a prayer and checked on me. Looking forward to getting back on the court with my guys soon.”

Chatman suffered the injury Dec. 30 during the Atlantic 10 Conference opener against La Salle. He did not play Saturday in a victory against George Mason at UD Arena or Tuesday in a 55-54 loss at Fordham.

Chatman played his first two seasons at Chattanooga, transferred to Dayton in 2018, sat out the 2018-19 season and started every game in the 2019-20 season. He started the first six games this season, averaging 10.0 points, 4.2 assists and 2.5 steals per game.

If Chatman can return in six weeks, he would miss 12 games. If he’s back in eight weeks, he would be back in time for the final game of the regular season March 3 against Virginia Commonwealth. The NCAA announced in the fall this season would not count against any player’s eligibility, so Chatman could choose to return next season if he wants.

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