Dayton Flyers open A-10 Play with 69-57 win over the improved Duquesne Dukes

DaRon Holmes led the way with 22 points and 13 boards

DAYTON – Three Flyers in double figures and a solid defensive effort gave the University of Dayton men’s basketball team a successful Atlantic 10 Conference-opening win over Duquesne, 69-57. 

Dayton was led by DaRon Holmes II, who scored 22 points and had 13 rebounds.  R.J. Blakney had a stellar night with 17 points and lockdown defense on the sixth-leading scorer in the A-10, Dae Dae Grant.  Grant was held to eight points, less than half his average of 17.9 ppg. Mustapha Amzil added 13 points and five assists.

Dayton is now 9-5 on the season, and has won its last four.  Duquesne is now 10-4 on the year.

R.J. Blakney scored 17 points while shutting down high-scoring Dae Dae Grant

First Half – Dayton 37, Duquesne 32

  • Off winning the opening toss, Dayton scored the game’s first 10 points, with DaRon Homes II getting six of those 10.
  • Duquesne got on the board three minutes and 37 second into the game.  
  • Two turnovers on offensive fouls by Zimi Nwokeji and Toumani Camara allowed the Dukes to cut the lead to 7 at 14-7.
  • Duquesne was able to cut it to three (14-11) with 12:02 left in the half,  but R.J. Blakney answered with an acrobatic press-breaking reverse layup to make the score 16-11. It was the last time the game was a single-possession game.
  • Dayton’s largest lead of the first half was 11 points, The last time the margin was 11 was with 1:48 left in the half, when Mustapha Amzil sank a three-pointer to make the score 37-26.  
  • The Dukes scored the last six points of the half to cut the Flyer lead to 37-32 at the break. 
  • Blakney led the Flyers with 12 points (5-7 FG), while Holmes II scored 10 (4-6 FG) alongside five rebounds.

Second Half – Dayton 69, Duquesne 59

  • Dayton opened the half with a 9-4 spurt to lead by 10 at the first media timeout of the second half.
  • The UD advantage remained 10 (55-45) at the next break with 10:05 to go.
  • The Flyers scored next on a Camara layup, and the game was never as close as 10 again.
  • Dayton’s largest lead was 15, which it reached four times in the last eight minutes.
  • A Duquesne three with eight seconds left made the final 69-57.


  • DaRon Holmes II led UD with 22 points and a career-best 13 rebounds.  
  • He has four games in a row with 20+ points, and is averaging 24.0 points a game during UD’s four-game win streak.
  • Dayton out-bounded the Dukes 41-27, with 14 of those 41 being offensive.
  • The Dukes came into the game seventh in D-I in offensive rebounding (14.2).  The Flyers limited them to seven offensive boards, which is also the number of offensive rebounds Holmes had by himself.
  • R.J. Blakney’s 17 points were a season high. He was also a game-high +16 in the contest.
  • Mustpaha Amzil added 13 points and five assists.
  • Dayton never trailed, and it longest scoring run was the game-opening 10-0 run.
  • The Flyers lead the A-10 in scoring defense at 58.8 points allowed per game, and have held their opponents under 60 points nine times in 14 games this year.
  • This was the fourth consecutive game allowing less than 60 points, and that is first time a Dayton team has done that since Dec. 8-21, 2009.


  • UD travels to Davidson, North Carolina for their match with Davidson on the 31st of December.
  • Game time is 2 p.m. ET.
  • Dayton’s next home game is Wednesday, Jan. 4 against Saint Joseph’s.