Head coach Archie Miller reacts to a play during a game against La Salle University, Feb. 19, at UD Arena. The University of Dayton men’s basketball team fell behind early and never was able to stay close in a 79-53 at Saint Joseph’s University, Tues- day, Feb. 25, at Hagan Arena in Philadelphia, Penn. ETHAN KLOSTERMAN/PHOTO EDITOR
By: Steven Wright – Sports Editor
A 79-53 loss to Saint Joseph’s University, Wednesday, Feb. 25, at Hagan Arena in Philadelphia, Penn., ended Dayton’s streak and gave UD its lowest scoring output this season.
The Hawks dominated from the start, most notably SJU junior guard Chris Wilson. He connected on all eight of his shot attempts from the floor, including two 3-pointers, to score 20 points total. Senior forward Ronald Roberts Jr. also added 22 points on 8 of 11 shooting. Senior forward Halil Kanacevic had 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Senior forward Devin Oliver had a double-double to lead UD, scoring 10 points and corralling 11 rebounds. Sophomore forward Jalen Robinson led the Flyers in scoring with 13 points, including a 5-for-5 performance at the free throw line.
UD shot 31.7 percent from the floor, while SJU came in at 58.3 percent, assisting on 19 of their 28 successful field goals.
Dayton (19-9, 7-6) fell behind by double digits early for its third straight game, previously trailing by 10 against La Salle University and 15 against Duquesne University before coming back to win both games. UD didn’t do much to come back against St. Joes though, as after falling behind 10-1 the team later trailed 21-8 after the first eight minutes.
Senior guard Langston Galloway, who beat Dayton with a buzzer beating 3-pointer in the first meeting Jan. 29 at UD Arena, scored seven points.
Dayton trailed 39-20 heading into the break. SJU shot 62.5 percent in the first half from the field, 66.7 from the 3-point line, and had 11 points each from Roberts and Wilson.
UD grabbed 11 offensive rebounds in the first half, but only scored three second-chance points. The 20 points were the fewest in a first half this season, the previous low being 25 in the first meeting between the two teams, as well as against Saint Louis University, Jan. 11.
Heading into the game, Dayton was 6-0 in the month of February. UD last went undefeated in February in 1971, getting through the month 8-0. Dayton’s 6-1 mark is its best since 2001, when it also went 6-1, the only loss also coming from a game against St. Joes.
Dayton has now lost seven straight contests on the road at St. Joes, spanning both Alumni Fieldhouse and Hagan Arena. The last win came Jan. 29, 2000, a 66-62 victory.
The 26-point final margin almost doubled UD’s largest defeat this season, a 14-point loss to Virginia Commonwealth University Jan. 22.
UD will play the University of Massachusetts next Saturday, March 1, at 11 a.m. at UD Arena.