Johnson records first career double-double in Dayton’s victory vs. NKU

Chase Johnson continues to be a bright spot for the Dayton Flyers early this season.

Johnson showed glimpses of his talent last season in eight games but played a limited role, averaging 11.1 minutes. He has more than tripled his playing time as a redshirt junior. He’s averaging 34.7 minutes per game.

In just three games, Johnson has played almost twice as many minutes as he did in his first three seasons in college basketball. He played 45 minutes in two injury-plagued seasons at Florida and 89 minutes last season before he left the program because of continuing issues with post-concussion stress syndrome.

Johnson delivered the first double-double of his career Tuesday: 16 points and 10 rebounds in a 66-60 victory against Northern Kentucky at UD Arena.

Explore» GRANT: Dayton fortunate to beat NKU

“It felt great,” Johnson said. “I was just ready to crash the offensive and defensive rebounds as much as I could and make open shots. I wanted to do what the team needed me to do to win the game.”

Johnson ranks second on the team in scoring (14.7 points per game) behind Ibi Watson (19.3) and second in rebounding (6.7) behind Jordy Tshimanga (9.3). Johnson leads the team in field-goal percentage (18 of 26, 69.2).

Better performance: Jalen Crutcher enjoyed his most productive game of the young season. He had 17 points on 6-of-16 shooting and eight assists.

“He really gave us a spark,” Grant said. “He made some shots there in the first half that gave us some life, gave us some energy. In the second half, he had some good assists where he got teammates open looks and easy opportunities and was able to make plays on his own.”

Explore» PHOTOS: Dayton vs. NKU

Freshman update: R.J. Blakney played a total of eight minutes in the first two games and then 21 minutes in the third game. He was the only reserve to score, tallying six points on 3-of-6 shooting.

Luke Frazier has not played in the first two games. Koby Brea, who’s out with an upper body injury, warmed up with the team Tuesday after watching warmups in the first two games but was not in uniform for the third straight game.

Looking ahead: Dayton will play Mississippi State at noon Saturday at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. It’s the first of four games at the Holiday Hoopsgiving event.

LSU plays South Florida at 2:30 p.m. Memphis plays Auburn at 5 p.m. Clemson plays Alabama at 7:30 p.m.

Mississippi State (3-2) has won three games in a row against Texas State, North Texas and Jackson State after opening the season with losses to Clemson and Liberty.

Schedule update: The Dayton women’s program announced Monday it won’t play at Charlotte on Thursday because of COVID-19 concerns within its program.

The announcement came one day after Dayton lost 77-74 to Akron at UD Arena.

Dayton’s next scheduled game will now be against Florida on Dec. 20 at UD Arena.

Dayton (1-1) opened the season with a 71-57 victory against Morehead State. Coach Shauna Green missed that game because of a positive COVID-19 test but returned to coach the team Sunday against Akron.

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