Dec. 20, 2004
ST. LOUIS - The University of Dayton Flyers won their third straight game Saturday afternoon in St. Louis, knocking off the Saint Louis University Billikens by the final score of 62-54. UD, now 4-3, was led by a trio of double-digit scorers. Freshman Brian Roberts came off the bench to score a career-high 14 points, and starting forwards Norman Plummer and Monty Scott each added 12.
All but 14 of UD's 62 points were scored by first-or-second-year players, including all three double-figure scorers. Flyer freshmen scored a combined 36 points.
SLU made three straight shots to take an 8-2 lead at the outset, but then Dayton went on a 13-0 run (six by Plummer) to make the score 15-8 with 10:57 left in the first half. Dayton eventually led by as much as eight, but the Billikens came back by turning up the defense. Shutting out the Flyers over the last three minutes of the half, Saint Louis took a 30-28 lead into the locker room.
The margin would have been much worse if not for Plummer's strong post play. The 6-7 freshman scored all 12 of his points in the first period.
The Billikens kept the momentum to start the second half, pushing out to a six-point lead (38-32) with 14:53 to go, but back-to-back threes by Roberts and Marques Bennett tied the game. SLU answered the challenge to jump ahead 42-38, but the Flyers responded with an 11-2 spurt. Scott had eight of those points, including the three-pointer that put UD up 49-44 with 7:15 remaining.
Saint Louis star Reggie Bryant was held in check most of the night, but he shook free for a pair of three-pointers to put the home team back up 50-49 with five minutes to go. That's when the Dayton defense picked up, holding the Billikens scoreless over the next four minutes. UD's 9-0 run during that stretch sealed the win.
After Trent Meacham's basket put UD up for good 51-50, the Flyers' last 11 points came from the free throw line. Roberts made six, Mark Jones made four and Meacham converted one. Dayton outscored Saint Louis 13-4 down the stretch, including going 11 of 14 from the line.
After committing nine turnovers in the first half, Dayton had just one in the second half. Plummer and Jones were the game's top rebounders, with seven apiece. Meacham's team-high three assists marked the fourth time he's led UD this season in assists.
The Flyers are back in action Monday, when they host Northwestern (LA) State. Game time is 7:00 p.m. EST.
HEAD COACH Brian Gregory
"We've told our guys, one of the things we have to do as a young team is learn to win on the road. You face different challenges on the road. You're going to have tough times during games on the road, and you have to scrap and claw your way through it. I'm very pleased we did that today."
"They had us. The momentum had swung their way and they were doing the things they wanted to do. But our guys made some big plays down the stretch and it was everybody, not just one or two guys carrying us. I'm so proud of how we responded."
"This was a big win for us. Our players did what they had to do, and my hat is off to our staff in the way they prepared our team during finals week. Saint Louis is a tough team, and a tough team to prepare for, but we got the job done this week in the classroom, on the practice floor and then in the game."
"Mark Jones did, truthfully, what a senior is supposed to do. He didn't have a great shooting night, but he found other ways to make a difference and led us to the win. And the younger guys saw that. For the future, them learning from his example might be as important as what he did today in this game."
"Norman kept us in it in the first half. It's not easy to score in the post against Saint Louis. Ask Sean Finn and Keith Waleskowski. We had two of the A-10's best post players last year, and they couldn't score against these guys last year."