Dayton wins Atlantic 10 opener against Duquesne

Max Cross | Sports Editor

The University of Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team set the tone right away, leading from start to finish against Duquesne, to open their Atlantic 10 Conference schedule with a 69-57 victory Wednesday at UD Arena. 

The Flyers (9-5) have now won four in a row since a 29 point loss to Virginia Tech on Dec. 7. Meanwhile, the Dukes have lost 10 straight games in Dayton. Duquesne (10-4) has now lost 17 straight A10 games. It started last season 1-0 in conference play before losing its remaining 16 games. 

Daron Holmes II scored 22 points on 9 of 12 shooting. He also led the team with 13 rebounds. 

Dayton made 8 of 20 from three point range (40%). After struggling from long range to open the season, the Flyers have shot 40% or better in its last six games. 

R.J Blakney made 3 of 4 three pointers and scored 17 points. Mustapha Amzil went 3 of 5 from deep and scored 13 points. 

Dayton opened the first half on a 10-0 run, with Holmes contributing six of his 10 first half points in that stretch. Duquesne finally got on the board with 16:23 left in the first half. 

Despite leading wire to wire, Duquesne continued to pounce on mistakes by the Flyers. Dayton committed 12 turnovers and at one point, had three offensive fouls on three consecutive possessions. The Dukes were able to get as close as six points early in the second half and trailed by only eight with 12 minutes to play. Dayton then began a 9-2 run with 8:01 to play to reach their biggest lead of the night, 60-45 and proved too much to overcome for Duquesne. 

Jimmy Clark III finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and three steals for the Dukes. Tevin Brewer added 11 points and four assists. Dae Dae Grant finished with eight points and two steals. 

Dayton returns to action on Saturday at 2 p.m. to play Davidson at Belk Arena in Davidson, N.C. Davidson (8-5) beat Fordham (12-2) in the other opening night game in A-10 play.

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