“It kind of clicked for us late, and we made a run,” Smith said. “I feel like we had a few chances to win the game.”
“It just shows how much potential we have,” Dayton forward DaRon Holmes II said, “and how good we can be if we’re just locked in and focused from the start. We weren’t playing our true game at the beginning. Toward the end, we started to pick it up and finally got locked in.”
Dayton (6-4) plays one more game against Virginia Tech (7-3) at 2 p.m. Sunday before taking a one-week break for exams. It will be a different atmosphere at sold-out UD Arena compared to Wednesday at SMU, where Dayton faced its first true road environment of the season.
The Flyers hope the experience pays off in future games. They have one more non-conference road game Dec. 18 at Mississippi and will play on the road nine times in Atlantic 10 Conference play.
“It was the first time they were in an unfamiliar environment where they didn’t have the majority of the fans or an even number of fans,” Grant said. “You have to have the ability to echo calls and the ability to listen and pay attention to what we need to be able to do on both sides of the ball. Anytime you’re on the road, you have to rely on your habits. You have to be able to hold yourself accountable, or your opponent will. We have to get better habits.”
Virginia Tech at Dayton, 2 p.m., ESPN2, 1290, 95.7
DaRon Holmes II interview: Dec. 10, 2021