Dayton’s Dyshawn Pierre had a rousing dunk last week where he “posterized” a Charlotte player, getting a running start toward the basket, throwing it down and then posing a bit while hanging on the rim as he waited for the traffic below him to clear.
The Flyers whooped it up as they watched a replay of it on the way home from that game. But he gave them one they may end up admiring even more against Richmond on Saturday, leaving a defender tripping over himself with a cross-over move and then going up for a two-handed jam.
That gave the Flyers a five-point lead with 3:25 to go on their way to a 78-74 win.
“That (Charlotte dunk) was pretty sweet, but I think this one meant more for us,” Pierre said. “It was kind of the start of everyone getting fired up. And the arena was really behind us.”
The Flyers are counting on getting another vocal UD Arena crowd when they get a visit from St. Bonaventure on Wednesday. They’ve climbed into a three-way tie for 11th in the Atlantic 10 with two games to go, and only 12 of 16 teams make the conference tournament.
Before winning three of their last four games, the Flyers appeared to have only a remote chance of making the event.
“Right now, we’re cruising up the ladder a little bit, and we’re starting to beat some people (where the tie-breaker) eventually could come down to head-to-head,” coach Archie Miller said. “Our guys are completely and totally 100 percent on the same page that everything right now is kind of life and death in terms of this.”
The Flyers probably would be all but eliminated from contention if not for Pierre. The Canadian has become a consistent contributor, averaging 8.1 points and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 52.6 percent from the field and 43.5 on 3-pointers.
“Obviously, when I moved here, I was kind of shaky. I didn’t know a lot of people,” he said. “But the coaching staff and our players have really been family to me. And so has everyone around UD.
“It makes it a lot easier to adapt and adjust to things being so different over here — not that it’s a huge culture change. At the same time, it’s not home. But right now it’s starting to be like home, a second home for sure.”
RACE TO MAKE A-10 TOURNEY
Dayton is currently in a three-way tie for 11th in the Atlantic 10 with a 6-8 record, and only 12 teams make the conference tourney. Each team has two games left, and one of the schools listed below will be left out.
School League record Remaining games
Richmond 7-7 Virginia Commonwealth (11-3), DUQUESNE (1-13)
St. Bonaventure 7-7 Dayton (6-8), FORDHAM (2-12)
Saint Joseph’s 7-7 RHODE ISLAND (3-11), Charlotte (6-8)
Dayton 6-8 ST. BONAVENTURE (7-7), George Washington (6-8)
Charlotte 6-8 Duquesne (1-13), SAINT JOSEPH’S (7-7)
George Washington 6-8 La Salle (10-4), DAYTON (6-8)
HOME GAMES IN CAPS