Dayton at Rhode Island: The tortured history

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Dayton forward Matt Kavanaugh tries to get off a shot against Rhode Island's Gilvydas Biruta, right, on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at the Ryan Center in Kingston, R.I. David Jablonski/Staff
Dayton forward Matt Kavanaugh tries to get off a shot against Rhode Island's Gilvydas Biruta, right, on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at the Ryan Center in Kingston, R.I. David Jablonski/Staff

Dayton forward Matt Kavanaugh tries to get off a shot against Rhode Island’s Gilvydas Biruta, right, on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, at the Ryan Center in Kingston, R.I. David Jablonski/Staff

WHIO’s Larry Hansgen ranked Rhode Island’s Ryan Center eighth out of 14 on his list of A-10 arenas.

“Nothing wrong with the building,” he wrote. “I just don’t like broadcasting Dayton losses.”

The Flyers will try to stop a six-game losing streak in Kingston when they play the Rams on Friday night. Their last victory came on Jan. 27, 2005. Here’s a look back at the six losses. Look away if you’re squeamish.

Jan. 7, 2007: Rhode Island 75, Dayton 74

The losing streak started here. Mark Gokavi covered the game for the Dayton Daily News:

The University of Dayton’s men’s basketball team had chances to close out Sunday’s game at Rhode Island. But the Flyers missed a jumper and a bonus free throw. The Rams made UD pay.

Guard Jimmy Baron hit a running scoop shot in the lane with 1.5 seconds left to give Rhode Island a 75-74 victory in front of 3,791 at the Thomas M. Ryan Center.

Brian Roberts’ desperation heave drew backboard but was shot after the final buzzer. It was a heartbreaking loss as UD (11-4, 1-1 Atlantic 10) remains winless on the road.

The Flyers shot well (29-of-52) from the field and 3-point line (8-of-15). But UD was undone by 16 turnovers and 8-of-15 shooting at the free-throw line.

UD played without Norman Plummer, which coach Brian Gregory said was because he didn’t meet his responsibilities.

“We’ve got to be tougher,” said Roberts, who led UD with 19 points and six rebounds. “We’ve got to get some road wins if we want to be a good team.”

Feb. 2, 2008: Rhode Island 82, Dayton 70

The Rams have a player named Four McGlynn this season. That’s almost as good as the first name in this story by Doug Harris:

Rhode Island’s Parfait Bitee is a native of Cameroon and still struggles some with English, but the basketball game plan against Dayton would have been clear to the senior guard in any language.

“We knew Brian Roberts is a great player,” he said. “We had to keep him in front of us. We knew if he had a good game, they’d win.”

The Rams kept the UD star in check, holding him to 17 points on 5-of-16 shooting, and built an 18-point second-half lead on their way an 82-70 victory Saturday.

“They didn’t do any gimmick defenses,” UD coach Brian Gregory said. “We’ve got to continue to be aggressive. But he didn’t shoot that well, even on a couple of good looks. Give them credit for that.”

The Flyers (15-5, 3-4 Atlantic 10) put five players in double figures. London Warren had 13 points, Kurt Huelsman 12 and Jimmy Binnie and Marcus Johnson 10 each, and they held A-10 player of the year candidate Will Daniels to just four.

Feb. 25, 2009: Rhode Island 93, Dayton 91 (OT)

Marquis Jones hit the big shot in this game and did it again a year later, making a 3-pointer with 5 seconds left to beat the Fyers in Dayton. Story by Doug Harris:

Rhode Island has an abundance of outside-shooting threats, and Dayton decided its best hope for surviving a final possession in a tie game with 13.5 seconds left was to have each player cling to his man.

“We could shrink the court a little more (draw the defense in), but I think with that amount of time, they could kick it out,” UD coach Brian Gregory said. “We’ve played in a lot of close games, and we’ve won a lot. I think you make a guy make a tough play.”

Marquis Jones did just that, driving down the lane for a game-winning basket as the clock expired to give Rhode Island a 93-91 victory before 7,218 fans, who turned the Thomas Ryan Center court into a giant mosh pit.The Flyers (23-5, 9-4 Atlantic 10), who trailed by 10 early in the second half, tied the game at 91 on a 3-pointer by Marcus Johnson, setting up Jones’ dramatics.

UD, which fell one game behind first-place Xavier in the A-10, scored the last five points of regulation to force OT. Mickey Perry made a 3-pointer with 1: 14 left. UD got a defensive stop, and London Warren tied it on a drive with 27.4 ticks to go. And the Flyers didn’t allow the Rams (21-8, 10-4) to get a shot off, forcing the extra session with the help of a Warren deflection.

“It was great play at the end by both teams,” Gregory said. “I can’t fault our energy and toughness. But they were a little better in the execution category, and it cost us.”

Feb. 9, 2011: Rhode Island 67, Dayton 53

This was the second of five straight Rhode Island victories in the series. That included two losses by a total of six points at UD Arena. Story by Doug Harris:

University of Dayton coach Brian Gregory applauded enthusiastically as his players left the floor at halftime — even though they failed to cash in after holding the ball for the final shot.  UD had scored an unfathomable 21 unanswered points in one stretch, took a 29-22 lead into the locker room and was following the game plan to perfection.

But in what has become a recurring theme, the Flyers turned out to be a 20-minute team in a 40-minute sport. They came out flatter than the state of Kansas in the second half, dropping a 67-53 decision before 5,415 fans at the Ryan Center on Wednesday.

“Give Rhode Island credit. They played with great intensity in the second half. They really hurt us on the offensive glass, and they hurt us with scramble situations and came up with the 50-50 ball and turned it into an open shot,” Gregory said. “I’m disappointed with our defensive rebounding, our taking care of the ball, our staying with the things that were going good for us in the first half. We were moving the ball and attacking the basket and got away from that. I thought we had a lot to do with our own demise.”

Feb. 13, 2013: Rhode Island 75, Dayton 72

The Flyers dropped 13-11 and 3-7 in the A-10 with this loss. Doug Harris had the story:

Dayton coach Archie Miller kept screaming from the bench, “ball pressure, ball pressure.”  What he wanted to see was tighter defense on dribblers and better close-outs on shooters, but the Flyers didn’t do much of either in dropping a 75-72 decision at Rhode Island on Wednesday.

The Rams made 10-of-22 three-pointers, including a long trey from Xavier Munford for the deciding points with 3.3 seconds left.UD’s Kevin Dillard had hit a deep 3 with 8.8 seconds left to tie the game, capping a rally from an eight-point deficit. But Munford caught the ball on the run, raced up the sidelines and swished a jumper from 22 feet.

That shot was contested — two defenders had hands in Munford’s face — but the Flyers stayed away from other Ram shooters as if they were carrying a virus.

When Dillard missed a rushed 3-pointer as the clock hit zero, Munford was tackled near midcourt by his ecstatic teammates.

“It’s a tough loss. It’s a controllable one, though,” Miller said. “The buzzer shot, obviously, everyone wants to look and say you’re snake-bitten. But we weren’t snake-bitten. We bit ourselves.“We didn’t defend the 3-point line tonight. We didn’t attack shooters, whether it was our rotation or just absolutely having hands down when you needed to have them up.”

Jan. 25, 2014: Rhode Island 88, Dayton 76

This was the fourth of five A-10 losses in the first six A-10 games for the Flyers. It was also the third of four straight losses. Dayton hasn’t lost two games in a row since that skid. Here’s an excerpt from my story of that game:

A little kid sitting in the front row on the baseline near the Dayton bench heckled the Flyers all night. His voice sounded like nails on a chalkboard. To their credit, the players ignored him as best they could, though it was like trying to tune out Metallica if the band had started playing a set in your kitchen.

The worst part about the kid’s taunts is he was mostly right. In an 88-76 loss to Rhode Island on Saturday at the Ryan Center, the Flyers just weren’t good.

The team that won two out of three games in Maui, the team that vaulted into the top 25 for a week, the team that beat an Ole Miss team that is just a game out of first place in the Southeastern Conference — that team has vanished. The new Flyers would have to worry about making the Atlantic 10 tournament field — much less the Big Dance — if every team in the A-10 didn’t get to play in Brooklyn in March.

The Flyers lost their third straight game and fell to 13-7 and 1-4 in the A-10. They’re tied for 10th place.

Adding insult to injury, a guy named Xavier — that’s senior guard Xavier Munford, who beat the Flyers last season on a last-second 3-pointer — led the Rams with 27 points on a day UD’s former rival, the Xavier Musketeers, were playing just up the road in Providence.

“This is gut-check time for us right now,” Dayton coach Archie Miller said. “It’s pride. For whatever reason right now, we’re not handling our business the right way. Sometimes you get into these modes during the season. I’ve been around a lot of teams where early on things go well and then in the middle they don’t and then they come back.”


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