Flyers late rally not enough to overcome poor shooting in first half

Jalen Crutcher (#10) had another high-scoring performance, but it wasn’t enough to cancel out an abysmal first half. Photo courtesy of Griffin Quinn, Flyer News.

Peter Burtnett
Sports Editor

The Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team’s late rally wasn’t enough to overcome a poor first half, as the Flyers fell 69-64 to Duquesne Tuesday night in the first game played at newly-renovated UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse in Pittsburgh.

Right from the start, the Dukes controlled the game, jumping out to a 15-3 lead. The Flyers offensive struggles dominated the night, including an almost nine-minute stretch without a made field goal during the first half.

With three minutes left in the half the Flyers made their first 3-pointer (senior guard Jalen Crutcher), but even that did not fix their shooting struggles. Crutcher was the only bright spot, with 15 first half points on 6-7 shooting, including a 3-pointer just before the first half buzzer.

However, the rest of the Flyers shot 4-16 from the field (0-10 from three), and the Dukes led 39-24 at halftime.

Things didn’t improve for the Flyers until too late in the second half, and the Dukes opened their renovated arena with a commanding 69-64 win over UD.

Crutcher finished with 28 points, while the rest of the team struggled to get many shots to fall. Redshirt senior guard Ibi Watson, averaging 15.7 points per game on 45 percent shooting from three on the season, was 0-10 from deep Tuesday night, and the Flyers (outside of Crutcher) were 5-24 on 3-pointers.

Freshman forward Mustapha Amzil also had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds to go with 3 blocks and 2 assists, but fouled out with 22 seconds left.

With the loss, the Flyers fall to 10-5 overall, and 6-4 in A10 play. 

Offensive struggles have plagued the Flyers this year, but they will have a chance to rebound against George Mason at home on Friday at 7 p.m.

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