With nine wins in 10 games, No. 13 Dayton is looking to add some more holiday cheer to its season. The Flyers are coming off a 71-58 victory over North Texas in which they never trailed and had nine players score.
The Flyers have a tougher test against Colorado in the Chicago Legends doubleheader on Saturday. The Flyers look to continue their highest ranking since December 1968 with a better performance than they gave Tuesday against the Mean Green.
Dayton, which has beaten Georgia and Virginia Tech this season, turned the ball over eight times in the second half and allowed North Texas to slice the deficit to nine points with six minutes left.
Meanwhile, Dayton’s perimeter defense was strong, as the Mean Green tied a school record with 19 3-pointers in their previous game against Arkansas Little Rock.
North Texas missed six of its first seven shots to fall into a 14-2 hole. The Flyers entered the game with the nation’s best field goal percentage in Division I at 54 percent, but shot 50 percent from the field and tallied 20 assists on 24 baskets.
The Flyers have proven to be a tough team to beat due to multiple weapons on offense. Obi Toppin leads the team in scoring (20.1 points) and rebounding (8.1) per game. But the Flyers have five players averaging in double figures and seven overall averaging at least 5.1 points.
The Buffaloes (9-2) are looking for another signature win after defeating Arizona State and San Diego and Clemson earlier this season. Colorado dropped a 72-58 decision at Kansas on Dec. 7, but ended a two-game losing skid by beating Colorado State and crushing Prairie View A&M 83-64 on Thursday night.
Colorado must fix their turnovers issues if they want to upset the Flyers. The Buffaloes committed a season-high 21 turnovers against Colorado State to raise their average to 15.5 turnovers per game. They turned the ball over 16 times against a struggling Prairie View A&M (3-8).
Colorado coach Tad Boyle said his team must fix some of their issues before the big game against Dayton.
“I feel like we’ve had some good practices,” Boyle said. “We’ve worked on a lot of fundamentals, passing and catching and dribbling and making simple plays. We’ve really tried to emphasize just make simple plays, don’t make home run plays. We’ll see if it translates.”
The Buffaloes rely on a collective effort most games, with three players averaging in double figures, led by Tyler Bey’s 12.6 points per game average. McKinley Wright is second (11.3), followed by D’Shawn Schwartz (10.1).
Colorado has to be strong on the boards against the Flyers. So far, the Buffaloes are outrebounding opponents 38.2-32.3 through 10 games, with Bey topping the team with an average of 10.4 boards per game.
–Field Level Media