Three takeaways from Dayton’s victory against Grambling State

The Flyers improve to 6-2 with 30-point victory

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

Walk-on C.J. Napier, who has more points in college basketball than anyone on the Dayton Flyers roster, scored the last basket of a 76-46 victory against Grambling State on Saturday at UD Arena. He threw in a short hook shot in the final minute for his first basket as a Flyer.

A Bishop Fenwick graduate from Miamisburg, Napier played four seasons at Ohio Northern University, a Division III program. He ranks 19th in ONU history with 1,279 points and now has two points at Dayton. That gives him 84 more points than Dayton junior forward DaRon Holmes II, the second most prolific scorer on the roster (1,197 points), has in three seasons.

It says something about the 2023-24 roster that Dayton can record its most lopsided victory of the season with Holmes scoring only five points. He took only six shots. Dayton didn’t need a big game from its star with Nate Santos scoring a career-high 26 points and Koby Brea staying hot for the second straight game with 15 points.

“We’re doing really good playing off each other,” Brea said, “and any game could be anybody’s night.”

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

Here are three takeaways from Dayton’s eighth game:

1. Javon Bennett impressed coach Anthony Grant: With eight assists and no turnovers, Dayton’s point guard played one of his best games despite scoring only two points. He led in the plus-minus stat. Dayton outscored Grambling State by 34 points when Bennett was on the court.

“That’s impacting winning,” Grant said.

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

2. The blowout helps Dayton’s resume: The Flyers jumped from No. 63 to No. 57 in the Ken Pomeroy ratings. That matches its highest ranking this season. It started the year at No. 69.

Dayton will find out Monday where it stands in the first NCAA Evaluation Tool ranking. That’s the main tool the NCAA tournament selection committee uses in picking the 68-team field.

At No. 333 in the Pomeroy ratings, Grambling State (2-6), which has lost five games in a row, is the lowest-ranked team on Dayton’s schedule. The Flyers’ five remaining non-conference games are all against teams ranked in the top 200: No. 131 UNLV (3-3); No. 190 Troy (4-4); No. 37 Cincinnati (6-4); No. 144 Oakland (5-4) and No. 196 Longwood (7-1).

3. A 40-year reunion was the highlight of the game: Dayton honored members of the 1983-84 team that reached the Elite Eight at halftime. Coach Don Donoher, Grant, Roosevelt Chapman, Damon Goodwin, Sedric Toney and all but three players from that team took part in a ceremony at center court.

The current Flyers watched from the bench as each of the former Flyers were introduced.

“Those guys are a big part of this culture,” Brea said, “and it was good to see them.”


Nate Santos led Dayton with a career-high 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting. In eight games at Dayton, he has nearly as many points (108) as he did in two seasons at Pittsburgh (116).

“I’m just taking the good shots that my teammates gave me,” Santos said.


Dayton made 14 of 28 3-pointers. It has shot 50% or better three times this season. Santos started the game with back-to-back 3-pointers for Dayton after it had fallen behind 4-0.

Santos made 6 of 7 3-pointers. Koby Brea made 5 of 10, scoring 15 points three days after making 6 of 8 3-pointers and scoring a career-high 22 points in a 65-63 victory at Southern Methodist. He made two 3-pointers during a 14-0 run after Grambling’s 4-0 start.

Kobe Elvis made 2 of 3 and scored 10 points.

Dayton made 14 of 28 3-pointers. It has topped 50% in three games and shot exactly that percentage in the last two games. It now ranks 21st in the country in 3-point shooting percentage (39.1).


Dayton plays UNLV (3-3) at 9 p.m. Wednesday at UD Arena. The game will be broadcast by the CBS Sports Network. Dayton traveled to UNLV last season and lost 60-52.

It will be UNLV’s first game since a 72-70 victory against Akron in Las Vegas, Nev. UNLV’s losses are to Southern, Florida State and Richmond. Its other victories are against Stetson and Pepperdine.

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