- Jeff Gilbert Contributing Writer
Jordan Davis got his first start for Dayton on Saturday night, but it was the start of the second half he will remember most.
Davis scored 14 points and made four 3-pointers in the first 11 minutes of the half to help spark the Flyers to a 73-60 victory over Akron.
“My teammates were looking for me, so I just stayed shooting the ball,” Davis said. “They just told me to keep shooting.”
The Flyers (3-2) had a thin lineup with Trey Landers still sidelined by a sprained ankle and Xeyrius Williams out with back spasms. Both are day to day.
»PHOTOS: Dayton rallies to top Akron
Darrell Davis, the Flyers’ leading scorer, was scoreless in the first half, but he hit a pair of 3-pointers early in the second half to help the other Davis turn a 37-32 halftime deficit into a 45-37 lead with a 13-0 run to start the half. Darrell Davis finished with 12 points.
“We’re still figuring out with a young team what it takes to have a level of consistency on both sides of the ball,” Flyers coach Anthony Grant said. “The first half I didn’t think the effort and energy that it’s going to take for us to win that we had it consistently enough. We just needed to better job of more discipline and focused effort on the defensive end. They answered that challenge in the second half, which allowed us from an offensive standpoint to get in more of a rhythm.”
Josh Cunningham was a constant force for the Flyers with 20 points and 16 rebounds. His three straight baskets — two of them crowd-pleasing dunks — pushed the lead to 66-50 with 6:15 left. He ended up scoring 11 straight points for a 71-54 lead.
“The entire game Josh was a man’s man tonight,” Grant said. “His numbers tell part of the story, but we also challenged him defensively to guard their leading scorer. In the second half Josh did a great job of limiting his opportunities.”
Daniel Utomi is Akron’s leading scorer at 26 a game and scored 19 to lead the Zips (2-1). He ignited a 13-0 run late in the first half with two 3-pointers for a 37-29 lead. The Flyers started a 16-0 run that carried over to the second half on Matej Svoboda’s 3-pointer to end the half.