Dayton (11-3) at Ole Miss (9-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Tad Smith Coliseum (8,700) -- Oxford, Mississippi. Television: CSS. Home Record: Dayton 8-1, Ole Miss 5-2. Away Record: Dayton 1-1, Ole Miss 2-1. Neutral Record: Dayton 2-1, Ole Miss 2-0. Conference Record: Dayton 0-0, Ole Miss 0-0. Series Record: Dayton leads, 4-0.
GAME NOTES: Both the Dayton Flyers and the Ole Miss Rebels attempt to stay hot on Saturday night, as the squads close out their respective non-conference schedules at Tad Smith Coliseum.
Dayton recently wrapped up a five-game homestand with four wins, improving to 11-3 in the process. The Flyers most recently demolished Winthrop on Wednesday afternoon, 81-47, and now they head back out on the road where they've played just two true road matchups this season (1-1).
Ole Miss has also opened up the season in fine fashion, winning nine of its first 12 games, while going 5-2 in Oxford. The Rebels bounced back from a Dec. 22 loss to Mercer (79-76) with a 79-74 triumph at Western Kentucky on Monday, their third win in the past four games.
Dayton has won all four previous matchups against Ole Miss, most recently earning a 62-50 victory at home in 2011.
The Flyers experienced their most dominant victory of the season their last time out, as they shot a lofty 59.3 percent from the field (including 7-of-13 from 3-point range) while holding Winthrop to just 37 percent shooting en route to the 34-point victory. Five players finished in double figures on the afternoon, paced by Jalen Robinson and Khari Price with 11 points apiece. Devon Scott, Devin Oliver and Vee Sanford each scored 10 points in the balanced effort, with Oliver hauling in seven rebounds and Sanford handing out five assists.
Dayton has made a habit of piecing together strong scoring performances this season, as it shoots 48.4 percent from the field for 77.4 ppg, which is 11.5 ppg more than it allows on the other end of the court. It also helps its cause by owning positive margins in the rebounding (+6.4) and turnover (+1.9) battles. Although nobody scores more than Sibert's 12.9 ppg, the deep rotation consists of 12 players who average at least one field goal per contest. Oliver (11.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg) and Dyshawn Pierre (11.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg) are both mainstays in the frontcourt, while Vee Sanford (9.8 ppg) narrowly misses the double- digit scorers club.
Although the Rebels trailed WKU in the first half, they used a big run late in the frame to take a 39-36 lead into intermission and went on to cling to a five-point victory thanks mostly to their 45.0 percent field goal shooting effort and forcing 18 WKU turnovers. Jarvis Summers scored 24 points to lead the way, while Marshall Henderson put up 23 points on 7-of-13 from the 3-point distance. Sebastian Saiz was also impressive, tallying 11 points and seven rebounds.
Just like its opponent in this contest, Ole Miss regularly puts up high point totals, scoring 79.8 ppg, good enough for a +8.7 scoring margin. The squad does plenty of damage from beyond the arc, making 8.6 3-pointers per game at a 38.3 percent clip. Henderson (19.1 ppg) is the leading scorer and has made all but nine of his 60 field goals from long range while actually boasting a better 3-point field goal percentage (.392) than overall field goal percentage (.361). Summers is an outstanding second option, netting 16.8 ppg on 54.6 percent from the floor, while Derrick Millinghaus brings 10.8 ppg to the table.
There should be plenty of points to go around in this one, but expect the Rebels' homecourt advantage to be the deciding factor.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Ole Miss 80, Dayton 77
01/04 10:43:29 ET