Dayton’s next game postponed because of Saint Joseph’s COVID issues

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R.J. Blakney interview (Feb. 9, 2021)

A-10 will have to move games around if it wants to find an opponent for Flyers on Saturday

The Dayton Flyers (11-6, 7-5) will not play Saint Joseph’s (1-14, 0-9) at UD Arena on Saturday.

The Atlantic 10 Conference announced Wednesday that game has been postponed because of “COVID-19 protocols that apply to the Hawks’ Tier 1 personnel.” It has not been determined if Dayton will have a replacement game.

The 10 other A-10 teams that are not currently sidelined by COVID-19 have games scheduled Saturday, but the A-10 could decide to change the schedule so Dayton has an opponent.

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This is the third straight game Saint Joseph’s has postponed. It last played Jan. 30. The Hawks are the only winless team in A-10 play.

This is the third straight Dayton game affected by COVID-19 issues at the other school. The A-10 sent George Mason to UD Arena on Friday when Richmond couldn’t play, and Dayton beat the Patriots 74-65.

When Massachusetts paused all athletic activities and couldn’t host a game against Dayton on Tuesday, the Flyers played VCU at home instead and lost 76-67.

Back in action: Dayton freshman R.J. Blakney has played in the last three games after missing the Saint Louis and Rhode Island games. He said Tuesday he was sidelined with a nagging calf issue.

Blakney has scored 37 points in 11 games, and more than half those have come in the last three games. He had 10 points against Duquesne, two against George Mason and seven against VCU.

Blakney also had his first dunk of the season in the first half against VCU. It was the last of six straight points Blakney scored in under a minute as Dayton stretched its lead to 25-17 with 9:50 to play in the half.

“It was just me playing hard and with energy,” Blakney said. “I just know when I come into the game to play hard and give my all. I’m not really worried about the points. If the points come, that’s cool.”

Defensive plan: VCU’s leading scorer, Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland, guarded Dayton’s top scorer, Jalen Crutcher most of the game when and limited him to eight points on 3-of-11 shooting.

“I just thought (Crutcher) never got in a great groove because of Bones’ on-the-ball pressure,” VCU coach Mike Rhoades told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “And then his teammates helped him.”

Injury updates: Dayton guard Rodney Chatman participated in a pregame shooting workout Tuesday. It’s the first time he has done that since undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right hand on Jan. 6. He was not in uniform for the game. ... Center Moulaye Sissoko was not in uniform for the third straight game because of an undisclosed injury.

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