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May 2018
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UD Flyers take down VCU to win A-10 regular season title; seniors lead the way


DAYTON – The University of Dayton men’s basketball team won its first outright Atlantic 10 Conference regular season championship Wednesday night after defeating the VCU Rams 79-72 in front of a sold-out crowd at UD Arena. It was a night when the Flyers were honoring their historic senior class of Scoochie SmithKyle DavisCharles CookeKendall Pollard and Jeremiah Bonsu and fittingly so, it was those upperclassmen who guided the team to victory. Cooke and Smith each scored 20 points while Davis and Pollard contributed 12 and 11 respectively. This was the senior class’ record 102 win and was the team’s 15th win in conference play, also a school record. The Flyers improved to 24-5 on the year and 14-2 in A-10 play while VCU dropped to 23-7 and 13-4 in the A-10.

Dayton shot 54.2 percent from the field connecting on 26 of 48 shots, including hitting six of their 15 three-point attempts. VCU was led by Redshirt-Senior Mo Allie-Cox who had 23 points and 4 rebounds—17 of his points came in the second half. Junior Justin Tillman recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds while senior JeQuan Lewis scored 15. The Rams shot 42.9 percent (27-63) from the field but only 13.3 percent (2-15) from behind the arc. Dayton never trailed in the game.

VCU center Mo Allie-Cox led the Rams with 23 points, including 17 in the second half.

First Half – Dayton 45, VCU 38
  • Scoochie Smith got Dayton out to an early lead after his “and-one” layup put the Flyers up 8-4 heading into the first media timeout.
  • The VCU bench was called for a technical foul with 6:59 left in the half after Doug Brooks was called for a foul on Charles Cooke. Cooke missed the first technical free-throw attempt but made the second and then his next two bonus foul shots. UD led 26-15 after the sequence.
  • Sophomore Ryan Mikesell hit Dayton’s first three-point attempt with 4:35 left in the period to push the Flyers out to an 11 point lead, 35-24. UD only had four attempts from three-point land in the first half, making two of them.
  • Dayton hit seven of its last 10 field goal attempts to end the half. Cooke had 15 points in the period and the team shot 60 percent (15-25).
  • VCU shot 48.3 percent in the half (14-29) and were led Tillman’s 12 points.

Second Half – Dayton 79 VCU 72

  • VCU came out of halftime in a 1-3-1 zone and immediately forced a turnover. It didn’t take long for Scoochie Smith to right the ship on as on the next possession he penetrated the lane and hit a midrange jump shot. Dayton went on to hit six of their next eight attempts 6:30 minute stretch, a run that was capped by junior Darrell Davis‘ corner three that put the Flyers in front by their largest lead of the game, 65-51.
  • Over the next four minutes, VCU responded with an 8-0 run of its own and with 8:39 left, Dayton’s lead was down to six.
  • The lead was down to three with 3:53 to play but coming out of the media timeout, Josh Cunningham hit a jumper with the shot clock expiring to put the Flyers up 73-68.
  • VCU had the ball down by two with 19 seconds left but JeQuan Lewis came up short on a three-point attempt. Kyle Davis came down with the rebound and a couple free-throws later, the game was history.

By the Numbers:
1 – This was the University of Dayton’s men’s basketball programs first ever outright A-10 Conference Championship.
2 – This was the second consecutive conference championship for the Flyers. Last season, Dayton shared the crown with VCU and St. Bonaventure
18 – Second chance points the Rams scored off of 16 offensive rebounds.
46 – Number of fouls called throughout the contest. Jordan Burgess of VCU fouled out while Kendall PollardXeyrius Williams, and Josh Cunningham each had four.
63 – Points the four seniors Scoochie SmithCharles CookeKyle Davis, and Kendall Pollard combined to score.
13,455 – Fans in attendance, setting the programs all-time season average attendance record for a single season of 13,018.

Next Up:
Dayton will travel to Washington D.C. on Saturday to take on George Washington in the final regular season game of 2016-17. Tip is slated for 8:00 p.m. ET.