Kingston, RI – The No. 3 Dayton Flyers defeated the Rhode Island Rams 84-57. Dayton came into Wednesday’s contest undefeated in conference play and has the chance to become the first ever undefeated team in A-10 play.
“We have a chance to go 18-0 in the A-10 which has never been done before,” Flyers Head Coach Anthony Grant said. “Our guys are excited about that challenge and were going to enjoy this tonight.
Rhode Island won the opening tip, which was one of the only things that went right for the Rams. Flyers senior guard Trey Landers scored the games first basket when he hit a layup and was fouled by Rams forward Jermaine Harris. Landers hit the free throw putting the Flyers ahead 3-0. That was as close as the game would be as Dayton lead for almost all forty minutes.
However, there wouldn’t be another 17-0 run to open up the game. Harris missed a fast break layup but was fouled by graduate student Ryan Mikesell.
The Flyers lead 3-1 until junior guard Fatts Russell hit a floater in the paint to knot the game at three. After a quick UD basket, Harris made another layup to give him his fourth and fifth points of the night.
The Flyers lead the rest of the game from the 15:26 point on.
Rhody would cut the lead to as little as four with 11:32 left in the first before the Flyers notched a 7-0 run putting them ahead 11.
At the 7:30 mark, URI would cut the lead to just five before the Flyers added another run this time of 6-0 to jump back ahead 11.
After trading baskets for the next three or so minutes Dayton’s lead ballooned to 17 before being cut to 16 at the half. The Flyers in total scored 46 points in the first half.
URI continued their struggles defending the paint with over half (24) of the Flyers points coming in the painted area.
In the second half, Rhode Island never got the Flyer lead within 12. Early three’s and poor inside and free throw shooting allowed UD’s lead to swell to as high as 28 before finally settling at 27.
Prior to the game Rhode Island honored the four seniors, Jordan Green, Eric Dadika, Jeff Dowtin, and Cyril Langevine.
“My hearts are with them after this,” Cox said. “I know it’s not the way that they wanted to go out on their home floor.”
Rhode Island will have one more Atlantic 10 contest Saturday against UMASS before heading to Brooklyn to play for their NCAA tournament lives.