The Dayton Flyers hung with Saint Mary’s for one half and still had a chance with seven minutes to play. Then momentum shifted — and fast.
The Gaels scored 14 straight points in a four-minute span, pulling away for a 69-54 victory Tuesday at McKeon Pavilion. Dayton fell to 5-6 with one non-conference game remaining Saturday against Wagner at UD Arena.
“I felt like in the second half we just had a tough time having any consistency from an offensive standpoint,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “They got some big offensive rebounds. The big guy inside (Jock Landale) was able to go to work in the second half and get some easy stuff at the rim. We had a tough time in man and zone being able to contain him, whether it was scoring in the post, offensive rebounding and that obviously opened up the 3-point line for them. They’re one of the best offensive teams in the country. We knew that coming in that we would have to do a good job in those areas.”
Landale scored 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting. He grabbed 11 rebounds. Calvin Hermanson led the Gaels (10-2) with 17 points. Jordan Ford added 16.
Saint Mary’s made 3 of 12 3-pointers in the first half and then 6 of 11 in the second half. Dayton shot the ball well in the first half, making 6 of 16 3-pointers but made 3 of 10 in the second half.
Dayton got off to a strong start. After trailing 13-8, the Flyers went on a 12-0 run and led for the rest of the first half. The lead was 31-29 at halftime.
The Gaels opened the second half with a 12-2 run. Dayton cut the deficit to 49-46 on a 3-pointer by Josh Cunningham with 7:06 to play. That’s when the decisive run began.
Xeyrius Williams led the Flyers with 16 points, hitting a couple of late 3-pointers. Jordan Davis scored 11. Cunningham had nine points and eight rebounds.
Darrell Davis was held scoreless and missed all 11 of his shots.