A long stay in the Southern Tier, the section of New York that’s home to St. Bonaventure University, ended for the Dayton Flyers on Sunday afternoon. They boarded a bus in Olean, rode north to Buffalo and then flew home, arriving around 4:30 p.m.
A snowstorm stopped Dayton from traveling Saturday night. Interstate 86 west to Salamanca and Route 219 north to Buffalo were closed to commercial traffic, including buses. That forced Dayton to change plans in which hoped to leave as soon as possible — it wasn’t going to even wait for the players to shower — after the game against the Bonnies.
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Instead, the Flyers went back to their hotel and enjoyed their 89-86 double-overtime victory.
“It was a lot of just lounging around watching basketball, eating food,” Dayton forward Ryan Mikesell said Monday. “There really wasn’t much to do at the hotel, so we just kind of hung out as a team. I know some of the guys watched the big fight. We were ready to get back to Dayton.”
Back from snowbound Olean, NY where @DaytonMBB gets a hard fought win over SBU. Hats off to Mike Mulcahey, Brett Comer and @StrengthCoachEd for handing travel, lodging, and meals pic.twitter.com/hgb5I7tAls— Larry Hansgen (@larryhansgen) January 21, 2019
Dayton continued its mastery of the Bonnies at the Reilly Center. St. Bonaventure is 25-4 in A-10 home games since 2015-16, and three of those losses have been to Dayton.
The Flyers improved to 12-6 and 4-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. They have already doubled their number of A-10 road victories from a year ago with wins at George Washington and St. Bonaventure.
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The Flyers have not beaten anyone in the top seven of the standings but get a chance at 7 p.m. Wednesday when they play second-place George Mason (11-8, 5-1) at UD Arena.
Since routing Richmond 72-48 in its first conference game, Dayton has played four close games. None have been decided by more than six points. There was the 22-point comeback victory at GW, the win over UMass at home featuring the late go-ahead 3-pointer by Jalen Crutcher, the late fade at Virginia Commonwealth and then the thriller at St. Bonaventure.
“We kind of expected it,” Mikesell said. “You never know with the A-10. Everyone talks about the A-10 struggling in the non-conference, but when you get to the conference play, none of that stuff really matters. Any team can get beat on any night. We’re just going to have to bring it night in and night out, and every game is going to be close. We’ve just got to deal with it. Whatever it takes.”
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