BRONX, NY - Dayton came in winners in three of their last four. Fordham, on its home turf, had captured two of three. Both, ironically, were coming off losses. Dayton dropped a tough decision at VCU last Friday. A day later, Fordham was routed by Davidson at Rose Hill.
In a game featuring nine ties and tenlead changes, Dayton outlasted Fordham, 75-66 Tuesday evening at Rose Hill Gymnasium. The victory pushed the Flyers’ conference record to 7-2 while Fordham fell to 3-6 in Atlantic 10 play.
First five possessions:
Dayton: Turnover, three-point FG, turnover, missed FG, turnover
Fordham: Turnover, field goal, missed FG, three-point FG, missed FG
Fordham led 5-3 at the 16:31 mark, hinting at a moderate pace. Dayton effectively cut down on dribble penetration early. The Rams are content to kick out on the perimeter. Seven of their first eleven attempts are from beyond the arc, but at the 12-minute mark they are just 2-of-7.
Early on Dayton was trying to match Fordham with their three-point emphasis. Midway through the first half, the Flyers settled down and went to Kendall Pollard, a nightmare of a matchup for the Rams. Dayton opened a late nine-point lead and appeared headed into opening the game up. Fordham answered quick and from downtown. At halftime, the score was knotted at 39.
The first four minutes of the second half saw Fordham edge Dayton, 9-8. Of greater significance was the Rams keeping their offensive momentum on which they finished the opening half still intact.
To little surprise, this game went down to the final minutes. Dayton was able to pull it out with an added defensive effort. Fordham was unable to hit a three-pointer for the final twelve minutes of the game as Dayton intensified their effort on defensive closeouts.
Offensively, the Flyers executed in the half court, often breaking down the guard on the perimeter and finishing with a pass to a cutter, the picture of poise and execution at a time the game was delicately hanging in the balance.
Dayton led 32-26 on points in the paint, no surprise given Fordham’s perimeter preference. Pollard and teammate Xeyrius Williams shared the game rebounding lead with six. Pollard also went 9-of-13 from the charity stripe. Both teams had good assist-to-turnover ratios. Dayton had 18 assists to 16 turnovers, while Fordham also had 18 assists to just 10 turnovers. The Flyers had more turnovers and a higher turnover rate, yet led 18-14 in points off turnovers. In simple terms, when Dayton forced a turnover, they frequently made Fordham pay on the scoreboard.
The mid-60-possession pace suggests a grind-it out-tempo. Actually, both teams were willing to get out and run. Both did a nice job of getting back defensively in transition to limit those opportunities. Dayton led 6-0 in fast break points. Fordham took 43 percent of their field goal attempts from beyond the arc, Dayton 39 percent. Half of the Rams’ 66 points were dialed from long distance.
Both teams had three players in double figures. Joseph Chartouny of Fordham knocked down two threes, scored 14 points and dished out a game-high eight assists for the Rams.
Possessions: Dayton 65, Fordham 63
Offensive efficiency: Dayton 115, Fordham 105
eFG%: Dayton 59, Fordham 53
Free Throw Rate: Dayton 61, Fordham 16
Offensive Rebound%: Dayton 36, Fordham 25
Turnover Rate: Dayton 25, Fordham 16
Leading scorers and EF:
Dayton: Kendall Pollard, 25 points, EF 32.
Fordham: Chris Sengfelder, 21 points, EF 25.
What Dayton did well: Execute in the stretch on both offense and defense, as well as get to the foul line and convert.
What Fordham did well: Score against an outstanding defense. The Rams shot 11-of-25 from three-point range against a defense giving up 26 percent from distance in A-10 play.
“My message to team afterward was that it was great to be part of a great college game. All competitors detest losing. Our guys did fight and crawl, but Dayton made more plays in the stretch. It’s incredibly hard to score on Dayton, but we had a lot of guys find baskets. Our effort defensively was good, but we had several guys score and kept them from going on a run. Chris is in the best shape of his life, 37 minutes in a tough game. Chris kept us in when Dayton was up nine late in the first half. Scoochie Smith is a terrific player, he runs the team. They have four seniors, but he is the leader of them. They compete at an NCAA Tournament level. Their defense is super and they play with great pride.” - Fordham coach Jeff Neubauer
“Hard-fought win, as difficult a time we had guarding defensively in a long time. Taking away Sengfelder’s three point shootingwas big. We made plays in the half court the last five minutes and going 23-of-27 (at the foul line) was big for us. We were a step slow to the three-point line the first half, the second half was all about closing out. They put us in tough spots, but we will take it. It is a road game and we will look at film and tighten things up on defense. Charles (Cooke) stepped up and gave us a lift as well. “ - Dayton coach Archie Miller