By: Ethan Swierczewski – Staff Writer
The Flyers found themselves beleaguered by an Auburn offense that did not quit Wednesday night, and fell to the Tigers 73-60 at UD Arena. The men’s squad now sits at 3-3 on the season as their non-conference schedule begins to heat up.
On a night where officials called upwards of 20 fouls on both teams, Dayton lost the war of attrition with the Tigers, shooting just over 36 percent from the field and 30 percent from beyond the arc.
A hot-handed Auburn squad made 10 three-pointers on the game and disrupted the upbeat offensive tempo of the Flyers with zone defense. Behind a whopping 13 offensive rebounds, Auburn caused problems for the Flyers on both ends of the floor.
Coach Anthony Grant summed up his team’s woes on offense and defense by attributing their struggles to a lack of consistency.
“When you play a team as talented as Auburn, you have to be able to sustain what you’re doing for 40 minutes,” Grant said. “At the beginning of the game, we were a little too sloppy, uncharacteristically anxious, and blew some opportunities.”
But the Flyers were able to battle back in the middle of the first half, riding a 13-0 run that featured speedy transition layups and the only Dayton three-point scores of the half.
After Auburn regained the lead, however, the Tigers never looked back.
“We were able to recover,” Grant said. “But at the end of the half, the same situation happened [again]. We just had periods of play that set us back.”
Beyond their shooting problems, the men’s squad battled a new personal demon; turnovers. The Flyers turned over the ball 19 times during the course of the game, keeping them from capitalizing on big defensive stops and establishing their tempo on offense.
“We need to watch film and see where we’re messing up on defense and offense,” said senior guard Darrell Davis. “We need to limit turnovers. We had 19 tonight. If we play under 12 turnovers and rebound the ball, we have a great chance to win basketball games.”
The game as a whole was a series of unfortunate events. In conjunction with poor shooting and turnovers, redshirt freshman Kostas Antetokounmpo sat out most of the first half after recording two early fouls, and untimely, charge calls against the Flyers’ limited their ability to shift the game’s momentum.
Their focus moving forward will be getting back to their game plan and playing to their strengths; rebounds and scoring in transition.
“That’s the game for us,” said Grant when asked about the importance of playing in transition. “I think we’re really good in transition and want to play in it as much as possible. From a defensive standpoint, we have to develop some consistency. When we were able to get some defensive stops and get in transition, we had our best offensive success.”
By maintaining consistency on both ends of the ball, the Flyers hope to put themselves in the best situation to win basketball games as the season progresses. The Flyers will look to correct their mistakes and right the ship on the road Dec. 3, against Mississippi State.
Photos Courtesy of Griffin Quinn/Staff Photographer