Dayton, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - For the first time under head coach Archie Miller, Dayton is ranked in the Top 25. The 25th-ranked Flyers will put their lofty status on the line Wednesday night at home, as they play host to the Delaware State Hornets.
The Flyers return to the mainland after a successful run in the Maui Invitational. Dayton failed to win the tournament title, but did serve notice with a first-round upset of Gonzaga. The team was then pitted against a deep and talented Baylor squad in the semifinals and fell to the Bears by the slimmest of margins (67-66), before bouncing back in the consolation round with a rout of California (82-64).
Greg Jackson's Hornets have struggled with their consistency in the early stages of the season, posting just two victories against five defeats thus far. One of those win however, came in the team's last outing, a 72-47 blasting of Baptist Bible, which ended a five-game losing streak for Delaware State.
Dayton has won all four prior meetings with Delaware State, with all four coming at UD Arena.
Tyshawn Bell posted 19 points, Kendal Williams added 18 and Casey Walker finished with 15, as the Hornets finally got back in the win column with a dominant performance against Baptist Bible. Delaware State shot a modes .435 from the floor in the game, but the outcome was never really in doubt. The Hornets owned a 39-29 edge in rebounding and forced 13 turnovers while committing just six.
Delaware State has suffered this season from a lack of scoring punch. The team comes into this contest averaging just 63.0 ppg and does so on a rather meek .416 shooting. Things haven't been much better anywhere on the floor for DSU, which is hitting just 30.7 percent from behind the arc and 62.4 percent from the free-throw line. Junior center Kendall Gray leads the team in scoring at a modest 11.3 ppg. Bell, a junior forward, rounds out the top scoring threats at 10.7 ppg.
The Flyers have had very little trouble generating offense. Dayton comes in averaging strong numbers across the board, netting 77.6 ppg, shooting .471 overall, .427 from 3-point range and an Atlantic 10 best .729 from the free- throw line. Jordan Sibert leads the way in the scoring column with 14.4 ppg. Fellow guard Devin Oliver is a close second at 14.1 ppg and is tied for the team lead in assists (3.0 apg). Dyshawn Pierre adds 10.6 ppg, while further depth comes in the form of Khari Price and Vee Sanford with 9.4 ppg apiece.
The Flyers took a 10-point lead into halftime against California and extended it after the break by shooting .516 from the floor over the final 20 minutes to keep the Golden Bears at arm's length. Oliver led the charge with a team- high 21 points. Three other Flyers finished in double figures in the balanced attack, with Jalen Robinson (17 pts), Sanford (14 pts) and Kyle Davis (12 pts) all making their contributions from off the bench.