Dec. 15, 2007
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DAYTON, Ohio - A stellar defensive effort helped the Dayton Flyers earn a 66-34 victory against the Coppin State Eagles.
Senior Brian Roberts scored a game-high 14 points to go with seven assists as the Flyers won their seventh straight and improved to 8-1 overall.
Freshman Chris Wright added 13 points and five rebounds, sophomore Marcus Johnson added nine points and junior Charles Little recorded nine points and six boards off the bench.
The announced attendance of 12,063 braved the inclement winter weather in the area to see the under-sized and out-manned Eagles held to 31 percent shooting in what was a historically impressive defensive effort.
On an evening in which no particular player stood out from the crowd in the points column on the stat sheet, Dayton's defense was the star holding Coppin State to just 15 first half points - the sixth lowest total by a UD squad since the inception of the shot clock during the 1985-86 season.
After halftime, the Flyers came out of the locker room and put the clamps down again. Dayton allowed just 19 points in the second half, which was the third lowest total for a UD team in any final half in the shot clock era.
The 34 total points allowed were the fifth-fewest in school history for the Flyers, as well as being the third lowest offensive output in Coppin State program history.
The Flyers stuck with their game plan and shot an efficient 51 percent from the floor and out-rebounded Coppin State 35-22. The defense also recorded eight blocks (one short of UD's school record), six steals, and harried Coppin State into 13 turnovers.
The tone was set early as the Flyers came out in full throttle and forced a timeout with 18:56 to play. Lay-ups by Wright and Johnson opened up a 4-0 Flyer lead and set the theme for the game - UD using its defense to fuel its offense. Coppin State managed just one basket in the game's first 8:12.
The offense would go cold for the Flyers, however, and CSU crept back to within seven points at the 7:04 mark.
The Flyers once again found their mojo, however, helped along by back-to-back threes by freshman Stephen Thomas and Roberts, which gave Dayton a 27-12 advantage with 4:19 on the clock. Dayton would cruise into the locker room leading the Eagles 32-15.
After the half, Dayton came out much like they did in the start - running the court and forcing CSU to stop the clock with 18:18 to go.
Coppin State would mount a comeback and climbed within 12 points with 14:46 remaining. The Eagles would get no closer, however, as Dayton answered the bell on several occasions. With 7:31 on the clock Roberts handled the fast break and fed Little, who finished off an electrifying alley-oop dunk to push the lead to 25 points.
There was more, Little added a jumper on the next possession before a three-point play by Wright put Dayton up 60-30.
The lead reached its critical mass with 5:43 to go on a three point basket by redshirt sophomore Mickey Perry, a Wisconsin transfer making his UD debut. It was the first career shot attempt in a Flyer uniform for Perry, who played eight minutes after entering the game with 11:33 remaining in the second half. Perry knocked down the three-pointer from the wing and brought the Flyer Faithful to its feet.
Other contributors for UD included sophomore London Warren wit three steals, sophomore Kurt Huelsman with four points and five rebounds and senior Jimmy Binnie chipping in with five rebounds and four assists.
Dayton continues its six-game homestand on Wednesday against the American Eagles at 7 p.m.