Looking back: Flyers completed undefeated season at home in 2009

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UD forward Luke Fabrizius against Duquesne on March 7, 2009. Photo by E.L. Hubbard


 

The Flyers need three more wins at UD Arena to complete their second undefeated season at home in the history of UD Arena and the first since the 2008-09 season.

St. Joseph’s on Thursday, George Mason on Feb. 25 and Rhode Island on March 3 stand in the way of Dayton and a 16-0 record at UD Arena.

The Flyers would also run their overall home winning streak to 21 games with three more victories. That would tie the 1959-61 teams for the second-longest streak in school history and would trail only the 2008-2010 teams that won 30 straight at home.

Six years ago, the Flyers completed an 18-0 season at the arena with a victory over Duquesne on March 7. Here’s a look back at that game with the game story by former Dayton Daily News UD beat writer and former Flyer Doug Harris.

Flyers’ ‘L-u-u-u-u-ke’ a force against Dukes

Freshman Fabrizius has career-high 17 points; UD earns No. 3 seed in Atlantic 10 tourney.

DAYTON — Luke Fabrizius is a 6-foot-9 freshman forward who plays only in spurts and is still looking to acquire his first muscle.

But to Duquesne this season, he’s been another Larry Bird. And to a sellout crowd of 13,435 on Saturday, March 7, he was “L-u-u-u-u-ke.”

In a game filled with palpable tension because of what was at stake, Fabrizius came off the bench to knock down five 3-pointers in six first-half attempts on his way to a careerhigh 17 points to lead Dayton to a 74-61 victory that gave the Flyers a program-record 25 regularseason wins.

Fabrizius’ previous career best was 11 points in a win at Duquesne on Jan. 17. Senior forward Charles Little, playing his last home game, made his first five shots and finished with 10 points.

The players went into the stands after the game and were mobbed by the fans, and coach Brian Gregory addressed the crowd over the public address system.

“We said before the season, (the theme is) ‘Our Team, Our Town,’ and if there was ever a team that represented the hardworking, blue-collar, tough-minded, grit-it-out type of city that Dayton is, these guys did,” he said. “We thank you, and now we’ve got to go out and get some more wins.”

The Flyers (25-6) ended up in a three-way tie for second in the A-10 with Rhode Island and Temple at 11-5. UD earned the No. 3 seed in the league tourney, while Rhode Island is the second seed because it went 2-1 against that second-place trio, while the Flyers were 1-1.

After getting a first-round bye, the Flyers will face the winner of the game between No. 6 seed Richmond and No. 11 seed St. Bonaventure at 9 p.m. Thursday.

The Flyers have won 20 straight home games, the third-longest streak in the nation and one short of the school record, and they finished unbeaten at home (18-0) for the first time since UD Arena opened in 1969-70.

A loss would have dropped them to the fifth seed in the A-10 tourney and meant they would have missed out on a first-round bye. The Dukes (18-11) also were playing for a top-four seed and first-round bye.

UD trailed most of the first half but finally tied the game at 26 on Fabrizius’ first bomb. The Flyers finished the first half on a 19-6 run for a 49-36 lead and then scored the first three points of the second half for a 16-point spread.

The Flyers still led by 16 after a Chris Wright 3-point play with 17:21 to go. The Dukes cut the deficit to 10, but a 3-pointer by Mickey Perry and a steal and three-point play by London Warren put the Flyers back in control.


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