Dayton (16-10) at Duquesne (15-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 22nd, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: A.J. Palumbo Center (4,406) -- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Television: CBSSN-Regional. Home Record: Dayton 11-4, Duquesne 10-3. Away Record: Dayton 2-6, Duquesne 3-7. Neutral Record: Dayton 3-0, Duquesne 2-1. Conference Record: Dayton 6-6, Duquesne 6-6. Series Record: Dayton leads, 44-21.
GAME NOTES: The Dayton Flyers attempt to halt their recent slide in the Atlantic 10 standings when they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Duquesne Dukes tonight at the Palumbo Center.
Following a January 21 win over Xavier, Dayton was considered to be one of, if not the best team in the A-10 with a 14-5 record overall and a 4-1 mark in conference play. Since then however, the Flyers have been sliding, losing five of their last seven games to slip to 6-6 in conference. They blew a second- half lead in Saturday's game against Xavier, dropping an 86-83 decision in overtime, and have now lost 27 games in a row on the Musketeers' home court.
Duquesne has experienced a similar season as Dayton, as it currently sits a game behind the Flyers overall at 15-11, and owns the same conference record at 6-6. The Dukes have gone all season without running either very hot or very cold, as they have not exceeded a three-game win streak and have only lost back-to-back games once. DU is coming off a blowout loss to first-place Temple on Saturday, falling 78-59 in Philadelphia.
Dayton has a comfortable lead in the all-time series, 44-21, but Duquesne won in Dayton earlier this month, 83-73.
The Flyers had a lead as big as seven points in Saturday's game before allowing Xavier to take control. A Kevin Dillard bucket for Dayton with two seconds left in regulation forced overtime, but it never led in the extra frame. Despite scoring an impressive 83 points, the Flyers shot just 42.9 percent from the field for the game while allowing Xavier to connect on 48.3 percent of its total shots. Dillard finished with 20 points and six assists in the loss, while Paul Williams and Chris Johnson added 18 points apiece. Dayton has been effective at the offensive end this year, scoring 71.6 ppg, led by Dillard's 13.0 ppg and 5.8 apg, the latter of which ranks second in the A-10. Johnson (12.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Matt Kavanaugh (9.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg) also bring solid contributions on a nightly basis. Dayton is strong on the glass, ranking second in the A-10 in rebounding margin (+3.1).
While Duquesne is one of the top scoring teams in the conference (73.9 ppg), it also ranks next-to-last in scoring defense (71.5 ppg). The Dukes struggled in Saturday's loss as they allowed Temple to connect on a lofty 57.7 percent of its field goal attempts and 52.6 percent of its three-point tries, while managing to make good on just 36.5 percent of their shots overall. B.J. Monteiro had more than a third of the team's points on the afternoon, shooting 8-of-16 from the field for 20 points. Monteiro leads a balanced attack for DU with 15.1 ppg, which ranks 11th in the conference. Sean Johnson is right on Monteiro's heels for the scoring lead with 14.1 ppg, while T.J. McConnell brings 11.7 ppg and 5.6 apg to the table. Duquesne is very careful with the basketball as it has an outstanding turnover margin of +5.35.
While Duquesne has not been spectacular this season, it has been steady, especially at home where it has won 10 of 13 bouts. Dayton will be eager to avenge its heart-breaking defeat to Xavier but will ultimately fall short for the sixth time in eight games.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Duquesne 74, Dayton 71
02/22 10:34:24 ET