Dayton (17-12) at George Washington (12-16)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 9, 2:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Charles E. Smith Center (4.338) -- Washington, DC. Television: CBSSN Regional. Home Record: Dayton 13-4, GW 6-7. Away Record: Dayton 2-7, GW 5-9. Neutral Record: Dayton 2-1, GW 1-0. Conference Record: Dayton 7-8, GW 6-9. Series Record: George Washington leads, 15-14.
GAME NOTES: A pair of teams trying to secure a spot in the Atlantic 10 Tournament meet on Saturday when the Dayton Flyers tangle with the George Washington Colonials in the regular-season finale for both squads.
The top 12 teams in the A-10 will earn slots in the tourney. The Flyers, who are on a three-game winning streak, will secure a spot with a win. Dayton enters the day 7-8 in conference play, which is tied for ninth-best in the conference with three other teams. GW is 13th at 6-9. The Colonials not only need to win, but get help elsewhere to get into the postseason. GW could be seeded as high as ninth or stay 13th, depending on other A-10 results.
Dayton is coming off a 75-63 home win over St. Bonaventure on Wednesday. Kevin Dillard finished with 18 points and eight assists, while Vee Sanford chimed in with 14 points and four helpers. Dyshawn Pierre and Josh Benson scored 12 and 11 points, respectively. It was the fifth straight game the Flyers have shot better than 50 percent from the field. They lead the A-10 in field-goal percentage (.471) and 3-point shooting (.384).
Dillard leads the way for the Flyers with 15.1 ppg. Sanford (12.1 ppg) and Benson (10.3 ppg) are also in double-figure scoring, while Devin Oliver (8.0 rpg) leads the effort on the glass and is fifth in the A-10 in rebounding. Dillard's ability to get to the free-throw line has proven to be a big difference for the Flyers. He's 42-of-44 at the charity stripe over his last nine games. Additionally, he's missed just one of 36 free throws in the final two minutes of games this season.
The Colonials need a big turnaround just to get into the conference tourney. They've lost a season-high four in a row, including an 84-70 decision at La Salle on Wednesday. Isaiah Armwood had 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Lasan Kromah netted 15 points off the bench. Kethan Savage shot 6-of-9 from the floor for 12 points. The Colonials lost despite shooting 55 percent, but gave up a 61-percent effort to the Explorers.
Armwood (11.8 ppg) leads the team in point production and rebounding (8.6 rpg), which is second-best in the A-10. Kromah (10.0 ppg) is the only other player averaging double digits in scoring. The Colonials are averaging only 65.5 points, partly due to horrific 3-point shooting. Their .286 percentage from beyond the arc is second-worst in the conference, behind Charlotte. Additionally they're allowing teams to shoot 36.1 percent from long distance.
A couple of milestones are within reach for GW. Kromah enters today 10 points shy of 1,000 for his career. Head coach Mike Lonergan comes into this game one victory shy of 400 for his 20-year coaching career (399-193).
The Flyers, who have won five of the last six meetings, could have a tough battle on their hands considering they have just two true road wins all season. The magic number for Dayton seems to be 75. They're 10-0 this season when reaching that plateau.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Dayton 75, George Washington 67
03/09 10:34:16 ET