By: Brendan Zdunek – Staff Writer
The Flyers men’s basketball team ended the month of January on a good note with a 75-66 win at Fordham on Jan. 31. With the win, the team finished January with a 7-2 conference record.
“This team is pretty locked in the process. They know what we’re ready to get into,” head coach Archie Miller said in a press conference on Thursday. “Every game is hard for us and every game seemingly gets bigger and bigger as the month goes by.”
Tuesday’s game was a big one indeed as Fordham played the Flyers tight all night, shooting 43 percent from the field and lead multiple times throughout the game. However, as the Rams went cold, the Flyers went on a 16-6 run to end the game at its final score, 75-66. The win was definitely a tough one to pull off, as is any road game.
“The Fordham game was a great example of how hard it is to win on the road,” Miller said. “But you need to find a way to win on the road and to keep yourself in the game and, in the last four or five minutes of the game, they were able to find a way.”
A good portion of the offensive contribution came from guard Charles Cooke, who had 14 points and five assists. Bronx native Scoochie Smith, who was playing in front of many Flyer faithful in his hometown, recorded 10 points and six assists.
“It’s amazing. You get to tell them to stand up and make noise,” senior forward Kendall Pollard said of playing in front of a large Dayton crowd on the road. “You make the home team feel like the away team. It’s just amazing that we get that support no matter where we go. It just gives us an extra boost of energy.”
However, the highlight of the night was forward Kendall Pollard’s season-high 25 points, including his 1000th career point.
“It’s really exciting, especially having Scoochie in [that category] already,” Pollard said. “It’s a milestone I’ve been trying to reach. It was a goal of mine since I entered college.”
The milestone shows how much he has developed, says Miller.
“It speaks to Kendall’s development as a player. To watch him develop over the course of time has been something. Hopefully, he’s got a big finish in him and I’m happy for him to be able to be playing and feeling good about himself,” said Miller.
Now, at the dawn of the regular season’s final month, the Flyers will take on Duquesne at UD Arena on Saturday. Dayton will try not to look past the Dukes, who have lost six straight games.
“They’re a very fast-paced team and they have very fast guards who can score,” said Miller. “Our concern coming in is obviously trying to slow them down and make them earn their baskets.”
Although the Dukes are among the cellar dwellers of the Atlantic 10, the Flyers do not treat them differently from other opponents.
“We look at every opponent the same, it’s just the next game,” Pollard said. “They’re in our way, and we [have to] take them down.”