George Mason hands No. 16 Dayton third A-10 loss

Flyers rally after giving up 19-0 run but still lose

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

FAIRFAX, Va. — The No. 16 Dayton Flyers fell to 0-3 in Virginia this season, losing 71-67 to George Mason on Wednesday at EagleBank Arena.

George Mason fans stormed the court — just as Richmond fans did after a 69-64 victory against Dayton on Jan. 27 — to celebrate their program’s first victory over a top-25 team at home.

No. 4 Dayton was the last ranked team to play here and won 62-55 in 2020. Prior to that, the last ranked team to play at George Mason was No. 24 Dayton in 2016. The Flyers won 98-64.

Here’s a quick recap of the game:

What it means: Dayton (21-5, 11-3) fell from first to third in the Atlantic 10 Conference with four games remaining. Loyola Chicago (19-7, 11-2) and Richmond (19-7, 11-2) lead Dayton by a half game. Richmond won 85-77 at Rhode Island on Wednesday.

Dayton’s three A-10 losses all have come in Virginia. It also lost at Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth.

George Mason (18-8, 7-6) has three victories in a row in the series against Dayton. The Patriots won their third straight game.

Star of the game: Dayton forward DaRon Holmes II led all scorers with 26 points. He made 8 of 15 field goals and 8 of 9 free throws.

Stat of the game: George Mason made 24 of 29 free throws (82.8%).

Big run: Dayton opened the second half with a 5-0 run to built a 38-27 lead. It led 42-35 with 16:35 mark and then was outscored 19-0 in the next seven minutes.

Big answer: Dayton trailed 53-42 when Koby Brea ended the 19-0 run with a 3-pointer. That started an 11-0 run by Dayton in the next two minutes. Brea tied the game on a 3-pointer at the 7:18 mark.

Turning point: Dayton took a one-point lead on a 3-pointer by Javon Bennett with 5:56 to play. George Mason answered with back-to-back layups and led the rest of the way

Last chance: Holmes missed what would have been a game-tying shot at the 1:09 mark.

Looking ahead: This is the first week since December in which Dayton plays only one game. It returns to action next week, playing Davidson (15-11, 5-8) at 7 p.m. Tuesday at UD Arena.

Davidson beat Fordham 68-53 in Davidson, N.C., on Tuesday. Davidson plays at Richmond (18-7, 10-2) on Saturday.

Dayton won 72-59 at Davidson on Jan. 3 on the opening night of the A-10 season. The Flyers have won eight straight games in the series and is 5-0 against Davidson at UD Arena since Davidson joined the A-10 in the 2014-15 season.


Holmes scored 11 points in a four-minute span to lead Dayton to a 33-27 halftime lead. Here’s a quick recap of the first half:

Key player: Holmes scored 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting. He made 2 of 2 3-pointers.

Key stat: Dayton made 6 of 11 3-pointers (54.5%), while George Mason made 4 of 14 (28.6%0.

Big run: Dayton trailed 17-13 with 13 minutes to play and then outscored George Mason 9-0 in the next five-plus minutes. Four different players scored in the stretch: Enoch Cheeks; Isaac Jack; Kobe Elvis; and Holmes.

Foul trouble: Dayton forward Nate Santos picked up two fouls in the first four minutes and was limited to 7 minutes, 17 seconds in the half.

Injury news: George Mason guard Darius Maddox returned to action after missing two games with a sprained ankle. He had three points in 12:56 in the half.

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