Toumani Camara (No. 2), Malachi Smith (No. 11), Koby Brea (No. 4) and DaRon Holmes II (No. 15) react during the Flyers 19-point loss Wednesday night. Photo courtesy of Keegan Gupta, Flyer News.
Peter Burtnett | Sports Editor
Dayton Flyers men’s basketball suffered a humbling 78-59 home loss to Lipscomb Wednesday night at UD Arena.
The loss is the Flyers’ second home loss as favorites by at least 9.5 points after a 59-58 loss to UMass-Lowell (18-point favorites) on Saturday.
Through the opening four-and-a-half minutes of the game, the Flyers offense once again began slowly, starting 33 percent from the field and turning the ball over twice. Bisons’ graduate forward Parker Hazen scored six early points to lead the visitors to a 9-4 lead at the media timeout with 15:32 left in the first half.
Junior forward Ahsan Asadullah continued the hot start for Lipscomb with a three from the top of the key and a hook shot. Collectively, the Bisons were leading 18-7 and shooting 64 percent at the under-12 media timeout with 11:32 left in the half.
The Flyers, meanwhile, were just 27 percent from the field. Asadullah continued to dominate in the post, closing a run of six straight made field goals with a pair of baskets to keep the Bisons in front by double digits with a 26-16 lead with 7:43 left in the first half.
As a team, Lipscomb was up to 73 percent from the field, and had 18 points in the paint.
As the Flyers improved on defense with the substitution of redshirt sophomore forward Moulaye Sissoko to counter Asadullah, the offense made three of five field goals to cut into the deficit. With 3:40 left in the first half, Lipscomb held a 31-24 lead. However, a key early metric was the Bisons’ advantage in rebounding: 13-7.
Out of the media timeout, the Flyers picked up their game even more. Led by freshman guard Kobe Elvis, the Flyers went on a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 31-28. Elvis first made two free throws after being fouled on a spinning layup, and then got a steal and layup to force a Lipscomb timeout with 3:07 left in the half.
After the Bisons timeout, the Flyers went the final three minutes of the half without scoring, committing three turnovers as the visitors opened the lead back up to double digits, 38-28, at halftime.
At the break, Lipscomb was shooting 65 percent from the field while Dayton was just 38 percent.
The hot shooting continued for the Bisons at the start of the second half, as they built their lead up to 51-37 at the under-16 media timeout with 14:07 left in the half.
Lipscomb, boosted by Asadullah and Tommy Murr, extended their lead to 58-43 as the Flyers continued to struggle to get defensive stops or offensive efficiency at the media timeout with 11:44 left in the game.
The Flyers finally got some offense on a pair of threes within 35 seconds from sophomore forward Mustapha Amzil, who had struggled out of the gate with just eight points in the first two games. Amzil’s threes cut the Lipscomb lead to 58-49 and forced the Bisons to call timeout with 10:49 left in the game.
The timeout was called at the perfect moment for Lipscomb, as they quickly made their own pair of threes and then Asadullah completed a three-point play opportunity to give the Bisons a 67-49 lead heading into the media timeout with 7:45 left in the game. After knocking down a quick pair of threes to cut the deficit back within single digits, the Flyers then went 3:04 without scoring.
Asadullah and Murr were up to 21 and 16 points, respectively, while five other players had scored for the Bisons.
In the final 7:45, the Flyers looked absolutely out of it, and Lipscomb came away with a 78-59 thrashing of Dayton at UD Arena. For the Flyers, sophomore forward Toumani Camara, redshirt junior guard Elijah Weaver and freshman guard Malachi Smith scored 11 points each, but defense was the main issue as Lipscomb finished 59.2 percent from the field and 55.6 from three.
“Obviously the the stat sheet shows we got out played tonight pretty much in every facet,” head coach Anthony Grant said. “Defensively, we really struggled in both halves to take away what we needed to take away from a team that we knew coming in was a really good offensive team and that we’d (need) to have a great defensive effort. We fell short there. Offensively, for the third game in a row, we continue to struggle to find any level of continuity and consistency. So right now as a coach, I want to take the blame on this. I gotta do a better job of making sure that my team is prepared to go out and understand what they need to do to try to put themselves in a better position.”
The Flyers drop to 1-2 and will face Austin Peay at home Saturday at 2 p.m.