By David Cordova
Every year when Dayton and Fordham matchup together in the historic Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx, there is always a great contingent of Flyers fans in attendance and rightfully so, considering that they were 15-5 coming into last night’s game against the Rams, who were 9-12 on the season.
In the Atlantic 10 Conference, every game is a must-win and every challenge is not to be taken lightly. This battle would turn out to be one for the ages, as both teams dueled it out until the final buzzer.
Dayton 75, Fordham 66
In the first few minutes of the game, both teams showed a lot of hustle and a lot of grit in every possession they had. Fordham’s Prokop Slanina had the first eight points of the game for the Rams as they led, 8-5, with 14:18 to go in the first half.
Dayton would utilize their size and the offensive abilities of Kendall Pollard to have control of the game, as they would lead by a slim margin, 22-20, with 7:32 to go in the half. They would then inch away later with 5:43 left to go ahead 28-22, after a layup by Charles Cooke.
But the Rams would get their momentum back after a three-pointer from Chuba Ohams to cut the deficit to 34-30, with 3:31 left in the half. A three by Cooke and a layup by Kyle Davis would bring the Flyers up nine, 39-30, with 2:14 to go in the half. But moments later, three-pointers by Christian Sengfelder and Joseph Chartouny would bring the Rams back in the game, tying the score at 39-39, with 12 seconds to go, which would then be the halftime score.
The second half started with two one-handed jumpshots by Fordham’s Antwoine Anderson and two consecutive three-pointers by Dayton’s Darrell Davis as the Flyers led, 45-43, with 18:01 to go. But Anderson continued to shoot the lights out, as he brought the Rams ahead by three, 48-45, with 16:54 to go in the half.
Throughout most of the half, the defensive pressure on both sides of the court made it hard to get baskets, but it made for very tough plays to the rim. With 11:35 to go, the Rams would take a five-point lead, 58-53, after a three-point play by Anderson. But in the later stages of the game, Dayton would continue to be aggressive, as they look over the lead, 61-60, with 5:26 to go after a layup by Xeyrius Williams. The Flyers would then parlay that into a four-point lead, 64-60, with 4:10 to go.
Moments later, Will Tavares would make a layup for the Rams with 3:11 left to cut the deficit to two, 66-64. Dayton would then take over the lead, and bering it up to 70-64, with 2:02 left, after a floater by Dayshon “Scoochie” Smith. The Flyers’ hustle would be all that they would need to win this game over the Rams.
Pollard led Dayton with 25 points and six rebounds, while Cooke added 14 points and five assists and Smith contributed 10 points and six assists for the Flyers. For Fordham, Sengfelder led with 21 points, while Chartouny led with 14 points and eight assists and Anderson added 12 points in the loss for the Rams.