Dayton (14-11) at Massachusetts (16-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 1 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mullins Center (9,493) -- Amherst, Massachusetts. Television: none. Home Record: Dayton 11-4, UMass 9-3. Away Record: Dayton 1-6, UMass 6-4. Neutral Record: Dayton 2-1, UMass 1-2. Conference Record: Dayton 4-7, UMass 6-6. Series Record: Dayton leads, 10-9.
GAME NOTES: The Massachusetts Minutemen will welcome the Dayton Flyers to the Mullins Center on Saturday afternoon for an Atlantic 10 matchup .
The Flyers hold a 10-9 lead in the all-time series. That includes a 76-43 romp Feb. 25, 2012. Dayton ended the game on a 36-9 roll to cruise to victory. The Flyers also dominated the Minutemen in the last meeting at the Mullins Center by a 78-50 count on March 8, 2011 in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament.
Dayton enters this afternoon's contest winless on the road in Atlantic 10 play at 0-5. The Flyers have not started 0-6 on the road in conference play since the 2005-06 season when they lost their first seven such contests.
The Flyers are coming off a 70-59 win over Xavier a week ago. Kevin Dillard had 17 points and Josh Benson scored 16 off the bench. Dyshawn Pierre and Matt Derenbecker contributed 10 points apiece. Dayton leads the conference in 3- point shooting (.383) and has three players averaging double figures in scoring in Dillard (15.0), Vee Sanford (12.2) and Benson (10.2). Devin Oliver (9.1 ppg) ranks fourth in the Atlantic 10 in rebounding (8.3 rpg). Dillard has been clutch in late game situations when stepping to the foul line. He's 32- of-32 in the last two minutes of the game this season at the charity stripe. Also, in his last 13 contests, Dillard is shooting 57-of-62 at the free throw line (.919). He has made 13 straight free throws in the last two games. That's a big reason the Flyers are 12-1 when leading with five minutes remaining in regulation.
The Flyers have received big contributions from Pierre and Derenbecker lately too. Pierre is averaging 11.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and shooting 50 percent (16-of-32) from the field in the last four games. Derenbecker is second in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage at .440. Also, Jalen Robinson is averaging 8.0 points and 7.0 boards off the bench in his last three contests.
The big problem for the Flyers has been coming up big in the clutch in tight games. They are 0-6 in games decided by three points or less.
As for the Minutemen, they'll try to end a season-high three-game skid. They fell, 99-94, at St. Bonaventure Wednesday. Chaz Williams had 26 points, 12 assists and four steals. Terrell Vinson scored 20 points before fouling out, Freddie Riley notched 17 points, Cady Lalanne shot 6-of-7 for 12 points, and Raphiael Putney grabbed 12 rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench. Williams paces the Atlantic 10 in assists (7.5), which ranks among the top-10 in the NCAA. He also leads the team in scoring at 16.1 ppg. Vinson (12.2 ppg) has gone 11-of-20 from 3-point range over his last six games, while Lalanne is second in A-10 games with a .612 field-goal percentage. Raphiael Putney, who started in 52 straight games until Wednesday, has a team-best 6.8 rebounds per game average.
While the Flyers have dominated the Minutemen in winning the last two games by a combined 61 points, expect the tables to be turned in UMass' favor this afternoon. The Flyers have yet to win on the road and still need to prove they can pull out a victory in tight situations.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Massachusetts 73, Dayton 70
02/23 10:32:27 ET