Lack of bench production hurts Dayton in loss at Saint Louis

Saint Louis bench outscores Dayton bench 21-5

The bench has been a weak spot for the Dayton Flyers most of the season. That was never more evident than Saturday at Chaifetz Arena.

The Saint Louis bench outscored Dayton's 21-5. That was one of many reasons the Billikens beat the Flyers 75-65, ending a seven-game losing streak in the series and pulling into a tie for seventh place. Dayton and Saint Louis each reached the midway point of the Atlantic 10 schedule at 4-5.

» GAME STORY: Turnovers, foul trouble among Dayton's issues

Xeyrius Williams scored three points off the bench for Dayton. Kostas Antetokounmpo scored two. Each had three rebounds. Antetokounmpo had four fouls in 11 minutes.

The other two reserves, John Crosby and Matej Svoboda, combined for three turnovers, no points and one shot attempt. Crosby played only two minutes. Svoboda played nine.

Saint Louis sophomore forward Jalen Johnson, who started the first 15 games of the season, scored 16 points off the bench for the Billikens.

"It speaks for itself tonight," Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. "You look at the box score, and you see off the bench 21-5. We knew Johnson was a very capable shooter."

Crowd size: Saint Louis drew its biggest crowd of the season (8,552). It averaged 5,874 in the first 13 home games.

All the fans at the game received white T-shirts on their seats. One section of the white-out crowd — the students who hang over the tunnel used by Dayton to enter and leave the court — got in the faces of the Flyers as they walked to the locker room at halftime. Dayton's coaches had to ask security guards for help, and at least one student was removed from the stands.

» WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Dayton improves to 9-0 in A-10

Saint Louis players celebrated the victory, their first over Dayton since 2014, by going into the stands with the students after the game.

"That was a great crowd today," Saint Louis coach Travis Ford said. "At 3 o'clock on a Saturday afternoon, you can choose to be at a lot of places. There are a lot of malls around here. There's a lot of games on TV. That you chose at 3 o'clock to be with us, to be a part of the white-out, to support this team — I don't say it lightly — it means a lot. These are some good kids. They're fighting hard."

Record book: Dayton senior Darrell Davis scored 10 points and now has 877 in his career. He passed Norm Grevey (875) and Paul Williams (876) to move into 63rd place in Dayton history. Mark Jones (894) and Anthony Grant (902) are the players just ahead of Davis.

Time change: Dayton's regular-season finale at UD Arena against George Washington on March 3 will be played at 3:30 p.m. instead of 12:30 p.m. NBC Sports Network will televise the game.

G League debut: Former Dayton guard Kyle Davis made his NBA G League debut on Friday, scoring three points in four minutes for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. Davis was cut from the roster in the preseason but was signed Tuesday.

Next game: Dayton gets a week off before playing Massachusetts at 2 p.m. Feb. 3 in Amherst, Mass. The Minutemen won the first game 62-60 on Jan. 6 in Dayton.

UMass (10-12, 3-6) suffered its fourth straight loss Saturday, 82-69 at last-place Fordham (7-14, 2-7).

» WHIO PODCASTS: Flyer FeedbackGame replaysAnthony Grant Show

Around the A-10: Rhode Island (17-3 overall) reached the halfway point of the A-10 schedule with a perfect record thanks a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Stanford Robinson on Saturday. The Rams improved to 9-0 in the A-10 with a 61-58 victory in Kingston, R.I.

Virginia Commonwealth won 84-76 at George Mason (9-12, 3-5). VCU (14-8, 6-3) moved into third place, trailing Rhode Island and Davidson (10-8, 5-2).

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