Game No. 18 recap: Davidson 77, Dayton 60

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Dayton vs. Davidson on Tuesday. David Jablonski/Staff

Four words sum up Dayton’s 18th game of the season and third loss: “one of those games.”

The Flyers had It during their eight-game winning streak. They didn’t have It on Tuesday at Davidson in a 77-60 loss (photos here). Jordan Sibert had It for the first 10 minutes. That’s about as long as the Flyers stayed in the game. Now as Bill Belichick might say, it’s on to Richmond for Dayton.

Here are five things to take from the game:

1. Archie Miller’s not worried.

Nor should he be. The Flyers weren’t going to go 18-0 in the A-10 (despite the Jack Pohl prediction I previously wrote about). They’re 5-1 a third of the way through the conference schedule, and that’s not bad.

Lede of my game story:

Dayton coach Archie Miller saved his best for last. He found a way to make light of a dark night for the Flyers with his final statement at the post-game press conference.

“The great thing about these guys is nobody’s getting benched,” Miller said. “No one gets the doghouse from the coach. They’re all going to play the next game, too.”

No matter how bad Dayton plays — and it struggled in almost every area in a 77-60 loss to Davidson College at John M. Belk Arena on Tuesday — the same seven players will see the floor in the next game. Miller can’t sit players when he has so few options on the bench.

Maybe the Flyers (15-3) were tired from playing five games in 13 days. Maybe the pressure of playing with a No. 22 ranking for the first time got to them. Maybe they just ran into a Davidson team on a mission, a team trying to bounce back from its worst loss of the season, an 89-63 setback at Richmond on Saturday.

All three of those reasons and a few more, such as Davidson’s 52 percent shooting from 3-point range (12 of 23), played a part. The Flyers’ eight-game winning streak ended. They fell to 5-1 in the Atlantic 10.

2. Two players is not enough.

Jordan Sibert and Kendall Pollard each scored 23. The rest of the team scored 14. Kyle Davis, oddly, did not attempt a shot in 29 minutes. Scoochie Smith attempted only one.

Dyshawn Pierre had an off night (five points on 2-of-10 shooting) one day after winning A-10 co-player of the week honors.

“I’m upset I wasn’t able to be there for my team tonight,” Pierre said. “They all huddled around me throughout the game. I don’t plan on having that happen (Saturday). I need to be ready. I’m not going to let the team down Saturday.”

3. Davidson belongs in A-10.

From the Charlotte Observer:

The Wildcats – who lost to Richmond by 26 points Saturday – shot 51.7 percent (30-of-58) and hit 12 of 23 3-pointers in extending their home winning streak to 15 games.

“This was a 40-minute performance, both on the offensive end and defensive end,” Davidson coach Bob McKillop said.

“We had great moments against Virginia Commonwealth and great moments against Virginia, but this is the first time we’ve had a full 40-minute performance on both ends.”

4. Dayton’s top 25 stay will be short.

Just as many fans feared, as soon as the Flyers earned a ranking, they lost. That’s what happened last season, and it happened again Tuesday. It’s unlikely a victory over Richmond on Saturday will be enough to keep Dayton in the top 25.

5. Saturday’s game will another tough test

Richmond just beat this same Davidson team 89-63 on Saturday. Of course, that game was in Richmond. Earlier in January, Richmond lost 81-67 at Davidson. Obviously, the home-court advantage means something. It sure did Tuesday night at Davidson.

Five Davidson students wearing nothing but black Speedos tried to distract Dayton players shooting free throws in the second half.

Their results were mixed. Dayton made 9 of 13 free throws in the second half but did miss two free throws that would have completed three-point plays when they still had a slight chance of winning.

All in all, there’s little doubt the raucous atmosphere at James M. Belk Arena played a part in Davidson upsetting No. 22 Dayton 77-60 on Tuesday. It was a black-out night. The Wildcats wore black uniforms. The fans dressed in black.

A crowd of 5,067 in a 5,223-seat arena watched Davidson beat a ranked team for the first time since 2011. The Wildcats had lost 20 of their previous 21 games against ranked opponents.

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