GAME NOTES: The Dayton Flyers hit the road looking to keep the ball rolling as they take on the Xavier Musketeers at the Cintas Center on Wednesday night in an Atlantic 10 Conference clash between two familiar foes.
Dayton is fresh off a 72-56 win over Duquesne. It was the second win in a row for the Flyers after a 3-game slump against VCU, Butler, and La Salle. The team is still searching for its first conference win on the road after falling in its first two attempts.
Xavier has lost two games in a row and is coming off a 59-49 loss at Saint Joseph's. Both losses came on the road as the squad has earned wins in its last three home games. Two of those wins came over La Salle (70-63) and Temple (57-52). The Musketeers are 7-2 at home this season and look to continue their strong performances at the Cintas Center.
The Flyers lead the all-time series 84-74 but Xavier has won the last 27 games played in Cincinnati, dating all the way back to the 1980-81 season. Dayton and Xavier have met more times than any other teams in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
In the win over Duquesne, Dayton had five players score in double figures led by Josh Benson who was 7-of-8 from the field, finishing with 17 points and eight rebounds. Kevin Dillard, the team's leading scorer on the season (14.8 ppg), struggled, hitting just 2-of-11 shots and going 0-of-5 from long range. Dillard was able to find other ways to help the offense, shooting 6-of-6 from the free-throw line and dishing out a game-high seven assists. Two others are boasting of double-figure scoring averages in Vee Sanford (12.7 ppg) and Josh Benson (10.5 ppg). Benson has been impressive, shooting 55.4 percent from the floor. Devin Oliver has added 9.5 ppg with 8.6 rpg. The team plays well on both ends, scoring 72.9 ppg on 46.1 percent shooting, while holding opponents to 64.5 ppg and just 41.8 percent shooting.
Semaj Christon led Xavier in scoring against Saint Joseph's with 16 points. Travis Taylor added 10 points, while Jeff Robinson pulled down 10 rebounds. Despite being a freshman, Christon leads the team in scoring this season with 14.9 ppg. while Taylor adds 11.5 ppg on 54.0 percent shooting from the floor. The Musketeers rank 256th in scoring in the nation at just 63.9 ppg, but have been saved all year long by stellar defensive play. Xavier allows opponents to score only 60.7 ppg (52nd in the nation), while shooting only 40.5 percent from the field.
Dayton's road woes are well documented, and winning in the Queen City has never come easy for the Flyers. That being said, the visitors have an outside shot at a win here behind the play of Dillard.