Dayton losing streak ends at home against Richmond in 86-60 blowout

DaRon Holmes II dunks on the Richmond Spiders early in the first half. Photo by Keegan Gupta, director of digital media & photography.

Max Cross | Sports Editor

The Dayton Flyers ended a two-game losing streak in dominant fashion with an 86-60 blowout against Richmond at UD Arena Saturday. 

Dayton (14-8, 6-3 A10) rebounded from two straight losses to George Washington and Rhode Island to avoid its first three-game losing streak in conference play since losing four games in a row back in 2014. 

The Flyers now sit alone in third place in the conference standings halfway through the 18-game Atlantic 10 schedule. Dayton trails VCU and Saint Louis, both teams are 7-1. Dayton had won 17 consecutive games against A10 teams not named VCU. 

Richmond (11-11, 4-5) has lost 10 of its last 11 games against Dayton. This was Dayton’s most lopsided victory in the series. The teams have played 32 times since 2001.

Koby Brea went six of his seven three-point attempts, tying a career best to finish with 18 points.

Dayton made a season-high 14 of 27 three-pointers (52%). The Flyers topped 50% for the first time.

Malachi Smith finished the game with a career high 13 assists. His previous high was 12 against St. Bonaventure last season. 

The Flyers returned to their original lineup from 2021-22 for the first time this season and cruised to a 43-23 halftime against the Richmond Spiders. 

Kobe Elvis and Smith started for the first time since November, joining DaRon Holmes II, Toumani Camara and R.J Blakney in the starting lineup. That was the same group that started most of the games a season ago. All five of them hadn’t started a game together this season. Mike Sharavajamts, Mustapha Amzil, and Brea each came off the bench in the first half. 

“I feel like having those five is a great way for us to set the tone to begin the game,” Brea said. “They all bring a lot of energy. Our job on the bench is to keep that same energy and keep that same intensity when we come into the game. [Coach Anthony Grant] told me earlier in the week he wanted me to be like a spark plug. So it’s all about accepting your role and doing whatever the team needs.”

The Flyers started cold from three point range in the first nine minutes, but soon found a spark to ignite the flame, finishing the half making six of eight from behind the ark.  

Dayton took a 19-12 lead following a three pointer by Brea with 6:54 remaining in the first half. That would be the first of 15-straight made shots by the Flyers. The 15th basket in the run, by Camara with 16:55 left in the game, giving Dayton a 54-25 lead.

“Sometimes when you see the ball go in, especially if you’re a shooter, things kind of open up,” Grant said. “I thought Malachi did a really good job of putting guys in position to play to their strengths, and that’s so important when you have guys that are able to just play to their strengths and guys that are able to help their teammates play to their strengths. It makes the game so much easier when guys understand their roles and understand who they are.”

Dayton stays at home on Tuesday to face Loyola Chicago (7-13, 1-7 A10). The Ramblers are coming off of a 72-58 loss on the road to Duquesne.  Tip off is scheduled for 9 p.m. It’s the first of two matchups this season between the teams. Dayton will travel to Chicago to face them on Feb. 17.

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