‘Small ball seven’ drops 101 points on Fordham

By: Keith Raad – Sports Editor

The “what?” rule showed itself inside UD Arena Sunday as Dayton’s 101-77 victory over Fordham University was the first 100-point game for Dayton since 1999.

“The ‘what?’ rule is what coach [Archie Miller] taught us,” redshirt senior guard Jordan Sibert said. “It stands for ‘what are you doing guarding me?’”

Sibert scored a career-best 29 points Sunday, topping his mark of 24 against Georgia Tech in December. Even with 16 points in the first half, Dayton’s best shooter did not let up in the second.

“He’s good,” Miller said. “He’s a good player. Here of late he’s been really aggressive, getting off to great starts in the first half. This is the first game that he put two [halves] together. He took what they gave him and just, in general, he’s playing the best ball of his career. He’s an iron man.”

Along with Sibert’s 29, sophomore forward Kendall Pollard had 22 points, junior forward Dyshawn Pierre added 20 and the entire starting lineup had double-digit points. The Flyers shot 62 percent from the floor, the best percentage all season, and the best since shooting 61 percent at Fordham Jan. 10. The Rams dropped their eighth game in a row and remain winless in conference play.

Sophomore guard Kyle Davis’ 16 points were key in securing the historic win, but the Chicago native’s team-high seven assists was a microcosm of the great ball movement.

“This was the first time in a long time that the ball moved,” Miller said. “In our last two games I don’t think the ball moved a lot on offense. Today it moved and really showed.”

Dayton assisted on 21 of their 32 buckets. It was the second time all year hitting 21 assists.

“[Davis] is doing great,” Miller said. “He’s a warrior. We ask him to guard the other team’s best player the whole game basically without rest. When he’s solid on offense in terms of punching gaps or kicking the ball out, he’s good. When he scores, it’s almost an added bonus.”

The 16-point effort on 8-10 from the free-throw line is a career high for Davis. Dayton got to the line 34 times, making 28 attempts.

Davis did his best to cover Fordham guards Mandell Thomas and Jon Severe, but the baskets did come for the Rams’ offense. The Rams’ 77 points were the most scored in a loss this season. Four Rams notched double-digit points, including first year forward Eric Paschall with 19 points. Paschall is one of the NCAA’s best as a first year, averaging over 17 points-per-game.

“He’s a load,” Miller said. “He’s one of the more impressive freshmen that I’ve seen. Fordham really has some firepower. They concern you a lot.”

Fordham shot 46 percent from the floor, a number the team has not reached since Jan. 7. The points surrendered concerned Miller, even as the 101-point show pleased UD Arena’s fans.

“I didn’t know we had 100 points until the very end,” Miller said. “I was more concerned with the fact that they had 77 in our building. That’s what I’m focused on right now.”

Sibert chimed in on the lack of defense, but showed no signs of worry moving forward.

“They spread you out and just play, but that’s something we need to work out defensively,” Sibert said. “We can handle that, we just need to get back to the gym and work on it.”

Dayton improved to 17-4, 7-2 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Sunday’s win was the 17th straight win at home. With a few days off to rest and relax, the Flyers head to the nation’s capital to square off with George Washington University Friday at 7 p.m.