Saint Louis ends five-game losing streak in series vs. Dayton

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Dayton Flyers highlights: Kobe Elvis scores 20 vs. Saint Louis on Feb. 5, 2022

Billikens move into second place as Flyers drop into tie for third with VCU

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Coach Travis Ford and Saint Louis prepared for a slow game against the Dayton Flyers, who rank 296th in the country in average possession length (18.5 seconds).

“Dayton doesn’t let you run much,” Ford said. “Stat wise, they’re the slowest team in the league. They’re last in possessions: 63 possessions per game. They make you guard in the half court. They make you guard multiple passes. They’ll take the shot clock down under 10.”

The Billikens lost 68-63 to the Flyers at UD Arena on Jan. 11 but were more prepared this time. They controlled the game from start to finish and beat Dayton 72-61 on Saturday at Chaifetz Arena.

Saint Louis ended a five-game winning streak in the series, and Ford improved to 4-7 against Dayton coach Anthony Grant in the last five seasons. Saint Louis (16-6, 7-2) stretched its season-best winning streak to five games, while ending Dayton’s three-game winning streak.

“We have a lot of respect for Dayton,” Ford said, “and we’ve talked a lot about that the last couple days — just how good their basketball team is and how well they’ve been playing. Anthony Grant does such a great job, and we’ve talked a lot about their tradition at Dayton and how they’ve kind of been on the top of this league for many, many years. I just like how our guys responded. I thought we had a lot of fight in us. We were aggressive.”

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Injury news: Dayton guard Elijah Weaver was in uniform for the first time since the Jan. 22 game against George Mason but did not see any action. He missed the previous three games with a wrist injury.

Around the A-10: Richmond (15-8, 6-4) beat St. Bonaventure 71-61 on Friday in Virginia. The Spiders have won three straight games.

The Bonnies (12-7, 4-4), the defending A-10 champion and preseason favorite, have already lost as many A-10 games as they lost last season when they finished 11-4 in the conference. They have lost four of their last six games since opening league play with victories against La Salle and Virginia Commonwealth.

• First-place Davidson (19-3, 9-1) avoided an upset at George Washington (8-13, 4-5) with a 5-0 run in the final two minutes. The Wildcats overcame an 11-point second-half deficit and won 78-73 on Saturday.

• Virginia Commonwealth (14-9, 7-3) bounced back from an 82-52 loss to Dayton at the Siegel Center on Wednesday with a 71-62 victory at home Saturday against Duquesne (6-14, 1-7). VCU and Dayton (15-8, 7-3) are tied for third place.

Looking ahead: Dayton plays two home games in the week ahead. It plays Duquesne at 7 p.m. Wednesday and George Washington at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Dayton beat both teams on the road in January. It won 83-58 at George Washington on Jan. 8 and 72-52 at Duquesne on Jan. 15.

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