Despite the efforts of the assist-happy Hawkeyes and a late lead-taking charge, Dayton won its matchup with Iowa late Thursday night by just getting things done the right way, 82-77.
After going down 75-71 shortly after leading by double digits, all things felt in favor of the Hawkeyes. But Coach Archie Miller's team made the type of plays that college basketball fans have become accustimed to seeing them make. A Charles Cooke 3-pointer and Soochie Smith take to the hoop put the Fylers up by one.
Iowa responded with Adam Woodbury scoring off free throws after being fouled on an offensive board. Cooke was able to pick up a foul himself and calmly put in two to vie Dayton another lead, this time 78-77. A defensive stop provided Dayton a chance to extend, and it did so enthusiastically on an acrobatic Smith scoop shot on the left side of the basket over two Hawkeyes. A defensive stop later and some made free throws the Flyers were victors. Dayton ended on an 11-2 run to seal it.
Cooke finished with 22 points to lead all scorers, while Kyle Davis and Kendall Pollard both dropped 16. Jarrod Uthoff capped the night with 18 himself, which included 4 3-pointers. The Hawkeyes were able to assist on 19 of their buckets, continuing an impressive trend in which coach Fran McCaffery's team is averaging 20+ assists per game.
One of the truly remarkable things about Dayton teams in recent years, (and surely about this Archie Miller coached squad) is its ability to prosper offensively without any dominant scorer. Sure the Flyers have had guys to go to when they needed baskets in clutch time, but instead, choose to spread the wealth amongst a plethora of talented fellas. Despite all this, it's pretty obvious that Charles Cooke is the most talented member of this Flyers team. Not that that fact matters too much to whomever Dayton faces in A-10 play. Opponents will have their hands full with regardless of who is having their day.