Flyers get back to winning ways, hold off late George Mason rally for 74-65 win

Jalen Crutcher (#10) led the Flyers with 21 points, as the Flyers improved to 11-5 overall and 7-4 in A10 play. Photo courtesy of Griffin Quinn, Flyer News.

Sarah Frazier

Sports Staff Writer

The Dayton Flyers defeated the George Mason Patriots for the second time this season at the UD Arena Friday night with a score of 74-65, never trailing the Patriots the whole game. 

The Flyers started the first half strong with a 3-pointer scored by redshirt senior guard Ibi Watson assisted by redshirt senior center Jordy Tshimanga. The Patriots then answered with a 2-point jumper. Senior guard Jalen Crutcher, however, was able to keep the momentum going with a clutch layup, followed by a 3-pointer with 16:05 left in the first half. 

Crutcher ended the first half with a 2-point jumper with seven seconds left, followed by a layup from the Patriots at with one second left, to put the Flyers up only four points ahead of the Patriots at the half with 36-32.

The top scorers at the half were Watson and Crutcher with 12 points. Crutcher also had the highest number of assists with 3, and Tshimanga had the highest number of rebounds with 7.

The second half was where the Flyers started to pull away from the Patriots. The final half started with a 3-pointer from Amzil 15 seconds into the second half. Crutcher then followed with a fast break layup. 

The Patriots were then able to answer with a three to end Dayton’s run, but it wasn’t enough to kill the Flyers’ momentum. Tshimanga answered with a dunk with 16:43 left in the game, one of his three dunks of the game. Quickly, the Flyers were able to extend their lead to 43-35.

The Flyers were able to keep a comfortable lead for the remainder of the game, but then the Patriots were able to get the game within 7 points. This did not phase the Flyers, however, who were able to answer with some clutch field goals, dunks, and free throws within the final minutes of the game to end with a final score of 74-65, a nine-point victory over the Patriots. 

A couple of the Flyers mentioned the challenges playing the same team twice in one season can bring.

“It’s harder than most people would think.” Tshimanga said. “Kind of redoing the same thing twice is always hard because then the team knows you, and you’re more familiar with each other, so it’s harder to go against that.”

“It felt great to see one go down, then the next one, and then the next one.” Weaver said. “It gives me a lot of confidence going into the next game.”

Dayton’s top scorer of the game was Crutcher with 21 points. Only a point behind Crutcher was Watson with 20 points, followed by Weaver with 13, Amzil with 10, and Tshimanga with 8.  Tshimanga had the most rebounds of the game with 14, and Crutcher had the most assists with 7.

Next, the Flyers stay on the road to face Massachusetts on Tuesday in Amherst at 7 p.m. 

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