Dec. 10, 2005
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DAYTON, Ohio - DePaul handed the Dayton men's basketball team its first home loss of the season Saturday night at UD Arena, 61-54, behind a 22-7 run midway through the second half. Monty Scott's 11 points led UD and Norman Plummer added 10, while Sammy Mejia paced the Blue Demons (4-3) with a season-high 23 points. Dayton is now 6-3.
Norman Plummer added 10 points and six rebounds for UD, Brian Roberts scored nine, and Chris Alvarez chipped in a season-high nine points to go with six rebounds.
Mejia connected on 11-of-15 shooting and teammate Draelon Burns added 10 points. DePaul forward Wilson Chandler grabbed 16 rebounds and scored seven points.
With Dayton leading 34-30 two minutes into the second half, Mejia took over. The junior guard from the Bronx scored 12 of DePaul's next 14 points, giving the Blue Demons a 44-37 lead. DePaul would stretch the lead to 11 with 8:53 remaining.
While the Flyers clawed back with a 10-2 run on threes by Roberts and Scott to pull within 54-51 with 4:05 to go, back-to-back timeouts cooled the Flyers momentum.
The first 20 minutes of play were nearly even on both ends of the court as Dayton was 12-for-28 (42.9 percent) from the field and DePaul hit on 12-of-26 attempts (42.3 percent). However, each team went about it a different way on the way to a 28-27 halftime lead by Dayton. The Flyer post players held a 14-6 advantage in points in the paint while the Blue Demons went 3-for-7 from three-point range.
Alvarez led Dayton with eight first-half points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field while Jimmy Binnie also came off the bench to corral a team-high five rebounds. DePaul was led by nine points from Mejia and four rebounds by Chandler.
The Flyers stretched their lead to four at 34-30 to begin the second half before DePaul answered with an 8-0 run over the next 2:40 to build a 38-34 lead with 15:25 left in the half.
From there the Blue Demons would build a double-digit lead over the next seven minutes and held a 52-42 advantage with 8:32 remaining before the Flyers began to chip away at the lead.
With the visitors on top 54-46, Dayton scored the next five points as Scott drained a trey and Plummer made a lay-up that pulled the Flyers within three at 54-51 with 4:05 left. After Karron Clarke countered with a three-point basket of his own for DePaul, Dayton used a free throw by Alvarez and a lay-up from Plummer to make it a three point game with 33 seconds remaining. However, Burns hit four free throws down the stretch for a 61-54 Blue Demon victory.
DePaul blocked six UD shots and held the Flyers to just 3-of-17 shooting from three-point range (17.6 percent). The Blue Demons also held a slim edge in rebounding, 37-34.
Dayton has a week off for semester exams before the start of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic. UD will face Arkansas-Monticello on Saturday, December 17, at 8:00 p.m. at UD Arena. The Flyers play host to Florida A & M two days later in a 7:00 p.m. tip before the tournament moves to the city it's named after.
NOTES: The Flyers had started the season 5-0 at home for the 11th time since UD Arena opened. Dayton is now 438-172 all-time at the Arena (.718)... Dayton leads the all-time series with DePaul 35-34, but the Blue Demons have won three in a row: 70-59 last season at DePaul, and 76-69 in double overtime in the First Round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament in Buffalo, NY...Mejia's previous season high (20) came against Bucknell. His career high of 26 came last season...Brian Gregory falls to 4-2 in match-ups against DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright. The previous five meetings came when Wainwright coached Atlantic 10 foe Richmond. Each of those five meetings between Gregory's Flyers and Wainwright's Spiders was decided by five points or less...Wainwright is now 2-7 vs Dayton, Gregory falls to 0-3 versus DePaul...