Florida Atlantic (5-4) at Dayton (7-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 15, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UD Arena (13,435) -- Dayton, Ohio. Television: WHIO. Home Record: FAU 3-1, Dayton 4-1. Away Record: FAU 1-3, Dayton 1-0. Neutral Record: FAU 1-0, Dayton 2-1. Conference Record: FAU 1-1, Dayton 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: Winners of three straight games and coming off a blowout of in- state rival Miami-Ohio, the Dayton Flyers continue non-conference play by hosting the Florida Atlantic Owls on Saturday night.
This bout marks the first meeting between these two schools on the hardwood.
The Flyers throttled the RedHawks, 83-61, a week ago. Devin Oliver recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. In fact, all five Flyers' starters scored in double figures. Oliver was 6-of-9 from the floor and dished out six assists. Josh Benson also tallied a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Kevin Dillard (15 points), Vee Sanford (14 points), Dyshawn Pierre (12 points, seven rebounds) rounded out the balanced attack.
Dayton has flexed its muscle under the basket this season and has out- rebounded all but one opponent. Dayton ranks tied for first in the Atlantic 10 Conference in defensive rebounding (28.8 rpg). The Flyers have also raced out to great starts, and have been ahead at halftime in all nine of their games. Dillard (15.1 ppg), Sanford (12.1), Benson (11.8) and Oliver (10.7) all average in double figures, with Oliver coming in with a team-best 8.1 rpg. Jalen Robinson has been a force off the bench by averaging 7.8 ppg while shooting 60.5 percent from the field.
Although FAU started its season with blowout losses to North Carolina and Mississippi State, the Owls have made big improvements of late against opponents from weaker conferences. They have won three in a row, including an 83-50 decision over Division II Warner Southern on Dec. 9. Greg Gantt tallied 19 points and Stefan Moody tacked on 18 for the Owls, who went 10-of-17 from 3-point range. Gantt enters this game 84 points shy of the school's all-time scoring record. Gantt is among the top-20 in the nation in scoring at 20.8 ppg, and he is also converting 88.2 percent of his foul shots. He is also averaging 6.1 rpg, just shy of Jordan McCoy's team-best 6.2 rpg. Moody (15.2 ppg) is the only other double-digit scorer in the lineup on a team that has struggled by shooting just 39.8 percent from the field.
A positive result in this one would match the longest winning streak for Dayton under head coach Archie Miller. The Flyers won four in a row twice last season, and should reach that mark tonight with relative ease.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Dayton 84, Florida Atlantic 62
12/15 10:30:21 ET