The two heroes of an amazing game on an unforgettable night at UD Arena left the postgame press conference last.
Dayton Flyers point guard Scoochie Smith was finishing an interview with a group of reporters when his fellow junior captain, Kyle Davis, dumped a bottle of water on his head. There wasn’t any Gatorade around. This would have to do.
Davis hit the go-ahead layup with 16 seconds remaining in a 68-67 victory Saturday over Virginia Commonwealth, and Smith led all scorers with a career-high 29 points.
The victory gives Dayton (24-6) a share of the Atlantic 10 championship with VCU and St. Bonaventure. All three teams finished 14-4. The Flyers get the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament because they were 2-1 against those two teams. VCU was 1-1 and gets the No. 2 seed. The Bonnies were 1-2 and will be seeded third.
Here are three key points from the victory:
1. The winner: Davis scored the winning layup on an acrobatic shot against the defense of VCU’s Mo-Alie Cox. Davis scored only two other points in 30 minutes. It’s his second game-winning shot of the season. He beat Miami on a jumper with two seconds left.
“It was just out of the blue,” Davis said. “Scooch just called my name. I looked up, and he passed me the ball. I was wide open. Coach was on the sideline, telling me to drive the ball and attack the basket. Either I was going to get a foul or get a shot up.
2. Smith’s game: Smith made 8 of 17 shots from the field and 10 of 12 free throws. He scored a career-high 26 Tuesday in a victory at Richmond and topped himself in this one.
“Scooch had an all-conference week,” Dayton coach Archie Miller said.
Asked what it is about the Dayton Flyers in March — they are 2-0 in this month after losing three of their last four — Smith said, “We’ve been here before. Like I told them at the start of the last war (the last four minutes of the second half), we’ve been here before. This is where we want to be. Even with one minute left, Dyshawn (Pierre’s) out of the game, Kendall (Pollard’s) out of the game. I told them we were going to win the game. We’ve been here too many times. We know what to do.”
3. Pollard’s status: Pollard had 12 points and four rebounds in 30 minutes and looked much healthier than he did Tuesday at Richmond, but the bone bruise on the femur might keep him out of the A-10 tournament.
“Today I thought was the best he’s looked since coming back,” Miller said. “Defensively, he was able to keep the ball out of the post easier. Offensively, he’s going to miss shots. He hasn’t practiced in almost a month in a half.
“Now that we’ve won the regular season, we have some decisions to make. There’s a chance Kendall won’t even participate in the Atlantic 10 tournament as we move into the NCAA to give him as much recovery time as we can. We’ll see how it goes. I know he’s going to want to play. We’re going to need him to play. But we’ll make a couple decisions based on where we want to be not next week but the weekend after that.”