By: Steve Miller – Staff Writer
The Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team played rock solid defense on the night of Jan. 27 as Dayton defeated the Saint Louis Billikens 73-37 to improve to 7-1 in the Atlantic 10 and 17-3 overall. UD Arena rocked in red as the Flyers held the Billikens to a miserable 27 percent field goal percentage for the game.
Redshirt freshman center Steve McElvene had six blocks and seven rebounds in a stellar defensive game. He also committed just one personal foul, a great step-up for the 6-foot-11 big-man who has frequently found himself in foul trouble this season.
The Flyers, who led by nine at the half, began the second half on a 10-2 run and didn’t let up, eventually winning by 36.
“[I’m] happy for the players,” head coach Archie Miller said in a postgame press conference. “I think the team defense being more intact for longer stretches is what we’re looking for.”
“We just tried to really contest as much as we could,” Miller said of playing defense against the Billikens’ attack.
SLU was just 3-of-24 from behind the arc in the game and made only 15 field goals all night. On top of that, they missed seven of 11 free throw attempts.
The Flyers also out-rebounded Saint Louis 50-29, and recorded 10 blocks.
“I thought we did a really nice job on the offensive glass, in particular in the second half,” Miller said. “We ended up getting 10 second shots.”
Junior forward Kendall Pollard made eight of nine field goal attempts en route to 18 points over 25 minutes. He added eight rebounds and two assists.
“Kendall got going, and he really looked the part,” Miller said of Pollard’s performance. “He was what you think he should be on most nights…eight rebounds is good.”
The Flyers are next in action against La Salle, at UD Arena Saturday at 2 p.m. LaSalle gave Dayton one of its three losses on the year during a contest earlier this month in Philadelphia. The Flyers will look to carry their momentum and 17-3 overall record into that game.