#16 UD Flyers start slow, finish fast in holding off Fordham Rams, 78-70; Dayton now 21-4 on season; Head coach Anthony Grant dissects game with Media

By Skip Coopersmith

Anthony Grant Dayton head coach talks to media about win over Fordham 78-70 2 17 2024 (courtesy Dayton Media Relations)

Anthony Grant UD BKB coach Postgame #16 UD 78 Fordham 70 2 17 2024.mp3


2 18 2024

DAYTON – The University of Dayton men’s basketball team came out victorious in a close, back-and-forth battle against the Fordham Rams on Saturday afternoon at UD Arena, winning by the final score of 78-70.

DaRon Holmes II recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 29 points and 10 rebounds. He led all players in both categories. The Flyers had four other players score double-digits. Javon Bennett finished with 14, all of which came in the first half, Enoch Cheeks tallied 12 points and Nate Santos scored 11.

Dayton, ranked 16th/18th in this week’s AP and Coaches polls, is 21-4 overall and stands in first place in the Atlantic 10 with an 11-2 record. Fordham falls to 10-15 overall and is 4-8 in conference play.


1st Half – Dayton 44, Fordham 35

  • Nate Santos got the Flyers on the board first with a corner three on their opening possession.
  • Javon Bennett would follow that up with a mid-range floater on the very next possession to tally his first points of the game.
  • After two consecutive scoring possessions saw Fordham jump in front, Enoch Cheeks finished off a nice drive to the basket with a layup to tie the game at 7-7 with 17 minutes left.
  • DaRon Holmes II got himself in the scoring column by finishing through contact to give the Flyers a 9-7 advantage.
  • On the next possession, Bennett converted a crafty layup to allow the Flyers to regain the lead
  • The game would continue to go back and forth as after a Fordham three to start the half, Santos converted a layup off of an assist from Kobe Elvis, followed by a Koby Brea three on the next possession to give Dayton an 18-15 lead. Fordham would then convert two free throws to give themselves back the lead.
  • Holmes II converted a layup to push the lead back to two with 10:30 remaining.
  • Dayton would go on to score five unanswered via a Cheeks jumper and Brea three to take a 30-24 lead into the under-8 timeout.
  • Brea was assessed a technical foul for unsportsmanlike conduct following his three-pointer.
  • After two minutes with no points from either team, the Flyers scored five quick points via a Bennett jumper and Holmes II three to jump out to a 10-point lead, its largest of the half, with 5:15 remaining.
  • Five unanswered points from Fordham saw the Rams draw within five until Bennett drained another three with 1:50 remaining to make the lead 40-32. He would then continue his impressive first half by converting a layup on the following possession for his 14th point of the half.
  • After a back-and-forth battle for much of the first period, the Flyers managed a nine-point advantage going into the break. Javon Bennett leads all scorers with 14 points.
  • The first half featured eight lead changes and five ties

2nd Half – Dayton 78, Fordham 70

  • Holmes got second-half scoring started for the Flyers, finishing a layup off of an impressive spin move.
  • Seven straight points saw Fordham return within four until II threw down a two-handed dunk over a Fordham defender to extend the Flyer lead to 48-42.
  • Fordham came out of the break hot as a 12-2 run over almost three minutes saw them draw within a point at 48-47 going into the under-16 media timeout. They would extend the run to 14-2 and take a 48-49 lead coming out of the timeout.
  • Elvis regained the lead for the Flyers by converting a layup to regain a one-point lead.
  • Holmes impressed in the first eight minutes of the second half, scoring 11 of Dayton’s first 13 points.
  • Elvis ignited the crowd with a huge three to push the Flyer lead to 60-54 and extend their run to 6-0 with 11:24 left to play.
  • After Fordham cut the lead to three, Enoch Cheeks finished off an up-and-under layup and converted two free throws on back-to-back possessions to push the lead back up to seven at 64-57 with nine minutes left to play.
  • Cheeks rose up to block a dunk attempt from behind, keeping the Flyers in front at 66-64. 
  • After Fordham tied the game at 66, Holmes II hit a mid-range jumper to give Dayton a 68-66 lead with 5:51 remaining.  
  • After a Fordham response made the score 69-68 in favor of the Flyers, Holmes drove to the basket and threw down an emphatic one-handed slam to push the lead to three with 3:29 left to play.
  • After Holmes II pushed the lead to five with a finish through contact in the post, a travel call on Fordham with 42 seconds left forced them to foul Holmes II. He would bury both of his free throws to all but ice the game.
  • The Flyers finished off the win by a score of 78-70. Holmes II led all players in the second half in points and rebounds with 20 and six respectively.


  • 8- DaRon Holmes II recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 29 points and 10 rebounds. 
  • 14- Javon Bennett recorded 14 points on the afternoon, all of which came in the first half.
  • 10- The Flyers forced 10 turnovers in the game, while committing six.  UD out-scored Fordham 10-2 in points off of turnovers.
  • 13- Dayton improved to 13-0 at home this season. UD is 21-4 overall.
  • 2:07- Fordham did not score in the last 2:07 of the contest which allowed the Flyers to secure the victory. 
  • 3 — Three Flyers led UD with three assists apiece  — Bennett, Holmes and Kobe Elvis each had three helpers.
  • 34 — Dayton won the points-in-the-paint battle 34-22.  Holmes made 10 of 13 field goal attempt.
  • 12 — Holmes drew 12 fouls to go with his 29 points and 10 rebounds.



  • The Flyers will travel to Fairfax, Va. to take on George Mason this Wednesday, Feb. 21.   Tip-off is at 7 p.m.
  • UD’s next home game is Tuesday, Feb. 27 against Davidson.