March 8, 2006
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CINCINNATI - The 12th-seeded Dayton Flyers nearly erased a 14-point deficit to fifth-seeded Saint Joseph's, but the Hawks' defense held the Flyers without a field goal for over 10 minutes down the stretch as SJU ended the Flyers' season, 67-55, Wednesday in the Opening Round of the Atlantic 10 Championship at US Bank Arena.
Dayton finished the season at 14-17, while Saint Joseph's (16-12) advanced to face fourth-seeded Saint Louis Thursday at 2:30 p.m. (approximate tip) on Atlantic 10 Television.
Monty Scott led UD with 13 points, and Warren Williams added 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists in his final game as a Flyer. The 6-0 Williams blocked a shot for the second-straight game, reaching five for his career. Brian Roberts chipped in 11 points and Norman Plummer nine, but UD shot just 32.7 percent from the field (18-of-55).
Dayton made just 12-of-21 shots from the free throw line while Saint Joseph's connected on 22-of-28 attempts in the 12-point game.
Abdulai Jalloh led Saint Joseph's with 24 points and seven rebounds, and went 13-of-14 from the free throw line. Rob Feguson added 16 points and seven rebounds as SJU beat Dayton for the first time in four A-10 tournament meetings.
The Flyers fell in the Opening Round of the A-10 tourney for the first time since 1997, when UD lost 81-75 to St. Bonaventure.
Desmond Adedeji, making his fourth start of the year, opened the scoring with a one-hander from the paint. Dayton held the Hawks to just one basket in their first seven field goal attempts and held an early 5-4 lead on a jumper by (Norman) Plummer with his feet on the three-point line.
The Hawks responded with back-to-back threes, and after (Brian) Roberts knocked down a triple, SJU's Chet Stachitas hit a three-pointer of his own for a 17-8 lead. SJU connected on eight-of-10 field goals after their slow start to take a 26-12 lead and force coach Brian Gregory to call for a timeout.
After falling behind 31-17, Dayton reeled off five straight points on a lay-up from Plummer and a three from Roberts. Scott scored in transition to cut the lead to seven, 31-24. The Flyers' held Saint Joseph's scoreless for the final 5:14 of the half, but despite pounding the ball inside, the Flyers failed to score in the final 3:23, closing the half with a 7-0 run, for a 31-24 deficit at the half.
Roberts and Plummer each had six first-half points to pace the Flyers, while Williams and Adedeji each had four points and four rebounds. Ferguson led all scorers with 10 points for SJU at the break.
After trading baskets to open the second half, Scott cut the SJU lead to six, and Williams followed with a three to make it a 35-32 game with 17:14 left to go. But Stachitas answered with a three-pointer from the wing as SJU pushed the lead back out to eight.
Williams' driving lay-up and `and-one' free throw pulled the Flyers back within five. Charles Little threw down a twisting baseline dunk to make it a one-possession game. Jalloh hit a pair of free throws and Little scored a lay-up at the other end, before Jimmy Binnie's free throws made it a one-point game at 42-41.
Each team only scored from the free throw line over the next few minutes until Dwayne Lee scored a lay-up in transition and the Hawks held a 52-46 lead with 6:19 to go.
The Hawks held UD without a field goal for 11:27 as they maintained a 10-point margin with 3:33 to play. Scott finally ended the drought with a three-pointer with 1:20 to go, but Saint Joseph's held on with baskets from the free throw line.
Dayton held a 38-35 edge on the glass, including 13-6 on the offensive end, but SJU converted 11 UD turnovers into 15 points. Dayton forced eight Hawk miscues, but only scored five points off turnovers. The two teams combined for 13 blocks, six by the Flyers.
The Flyer Faithful made up well over half of the matinee crowd of 4,010 at US Bank Arena.
With a 14-17 final record in 2005-2006, the Flyers' streak of six-straight winning seasons comes to an end. UD last finished below .500 in the 1998-1999 season, which was followed by five consecutive 20-win seasons. Dayton is averaging 21 wins per year since the start of the 1999-2000 season.