Kyle Davis was quiet for 39 minutes of today's match-up against William & Mary but the junior guard only needed a few seconds to make his mark. Davis stole Michael Schlotman's inbounds pass and dashed down the court for a lay-up that gave the Flyers a 64-62 advantage that propelled them to a win over the previously unbeaten Tribe 69-66.
The game between two teams in the Mid-Major Power 15 was a story of two halves as William & Mary jumped out to a nine point advantage at halftime. The Tribe was able to penetrate the Flyers defense at will in the first half and either dump it down low to Sean Sheldon for the easy bucket or kick it out for open shots beyond the arc. Along with their strong offensive game plan, the Tribe's half-court defense kept the Flyers from finding any good looks from the field and forcing the Flyers into turning over the ball and holding them to a season low 21 first half points.
The Flyers came out in the second half by extending their half-court defense and forcing the Tribe into turnovers that turned into easy buckets for the Flyers. Charles Cooke controlled the perimeter for the Flyers with all of his 18 points came in the second half as he hit 3 big shots from beyond the arc which allowed more room in the paint for Dayton center Steve McElvene. The 6'11 redshirt freshman had two massive dunks that seemed to shake UD Arena and got the crowd of 13,000 fans on their feet and back into the game.
The Flyers took a nine point lead with six minutes left in the game but the Tribe battled back to tie the game at 62 after some big three pointers by Daniel Dixon who led all scorers with 24 points on the afternoon. After a deflection out of bounds by Charles Cooke, Davis ran across the court to make his game-changing steal and lay-up on the ensuing inbounds pass. With the score 67-63, Dixon hit a 30 footer to put the Tribe within one. After Cooke made his first free throw, Kendall Pollard got the offensive rebound after a miss with 1.7 seconds left that sealed the game for the Flyers.
Cooke led the Flyers with 18 points to go along with McElvene's 12 points and 9 rebounds. The Flyers now go down to Orlando to participate in the Advocare Invitational. The Flyers play on Thanksgiving day against an undefeated Iowa Hawkeyes team that is coming off a blow-out win over Marquette. This is arguably the most important game on the Flyer's schedule as a win pits them into a match-up with Notre Dame while a loss puts them into a game with Monmouth if the seeds hold true.
The Flyers also extended their home winning streak to 25 games which is second best in school history.
William & Mary fall to 3-1 on the year and face a tough Hampton squad at home on Wednesday Nov. 25.