No. 18 Dayton hopes to forget bad loss, takes aim at Duquesne

No. 18 Dayton hopes to forget bad loss, takes aim at Duquesne

Following Friday's ugly 49-47 loss at VCU, No. 18 Dayton seeks a bounce-back performance at home Tuesday against Duquesne.The Flyers (19-4, 9-2 Atlantic 10) managed to shoot just 17-for-47 (36.2 pe

Following Friday’s ugly 49-47 loss at VCU, No. 18 Dayton seeks a bounce-back performance at home Tuesday against Duquesne.

The Flyers (19-4, 9-2 Atlantic 10) managed to shoot just 17-for-47 (36.2 percent) from the field and 4-of-17 (23.5 percent) on its 3-pointers.

On a night where Dayton didn’t have much offensive rhythm, the Flyers did hold VCU scoreless over the final 5:57, but still couldn’t overcome the shooting woes.

“Obviously it was a struggle offensively for both teams,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “It came down to one or two plays, and give VCU credit, they were able to make the plays at the end.”

Dayton’s leading scorer on the season — and Wooden Award watch list member — DaRon Holmes II was held to just 3-for-8 shooting from the field and a 5-for-13 clip at the free-throw line.

Holmes also had a chance to tie the game with a last-second runner, but it kicked off the back of the rim.

“(DaRon) is a really good player,” Grant said. “Tonight wasn’t a great night for him. It wasn’t a great night for our team.”

Leading the Flyers was Nate Santos’ 19 points. Despite Holmes’ off-night, his 19.4 points per game still leads the A-10. Santos averages 12 points per contest, second on the team.

Prior to Friday, Dayton had won 16 of 17 games, including a 72-62 road victory against Duquesne on Jan. 12.

Seeking revenge for that night, the Dukes (14-9, 4-6) travel to Dayton winners of five of their last six.

Most recently, Duquesne picked up a 75-69 win at St. Bonaventure, thanks to 16 points and 14 rebounds off the bench from Fousseyni Drame.

“It’s a good win for us,” Duquesne coach Keith Dambrot said. “This league is wacky. Everybody’s pretty much the same in a lot of regards, and how you match up is pivotal as to whether you can win or not. We got off to a good start, and that was key.”

Following a 72-59 loss to Davidson in which the Dukes accounted for a season-low seven assists, Dambrot wanted to see improved ball movement against the St. Bonaventure.

In Saturday’s win, they more than doubled their previous game’s total, collecting 16 assists against the Bonnies, eight of which came from Jimmy Clark III.

“We shared the ball tonight as good as we’ve had all year,” Dambrot said. “We’ve been harping on it and harping on it. We still had a couple bad ones, but overall I thought we moved the ball well. That was another big key.”

On the season, Dae Dae Grant leads the Dukes with 17.3 points per game, while Clark follows with 14.9.

Dambrot’s group will have to shoot the ball well to upset the Flyers, as Dayton’s defense is tops in the conference at 64.3 points allowed per game.

A Duquesne win would be the first over Dayton since February 2021. The Dukes haven’t picked up a victory at UD Arena in Dayton since Feb. 1, 2012.