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DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Chris Wright scored a career-high 30 points Wednesday to lead Dayton to a 75-47 victory over Charlotte, tightening the Atlantic 10 race.
Dayton (17-6, 6-3), who was the preseason favorite to win the A10, has rebounded from consecutive one-point conference losses with three straight victories to help create a logjam of seven teams within one game of first place in the loss column.
Wright was 11-of-15 from the field, pulled down nine rebounds and blocked two shots en route to his 30 points in just 28 minutes of play. Chris Johnson added 14 points and seven rebounds, and Marcus Johnson came off the bench for 13.
Charlotte (18-6, 8-2) entered the game alone in first place but fell into a tie with Xavier and Richmond. Dayton had knocked Xavier out of first place with a 90-65 win over the Musketeers last Saturday.
Dayton took control with a 13-3 run to start the second half, sparked by Wright's 10 points, including consecutive 3-pointers, to push the lead to 43-30. Dayton's lead grew to 73-44 with 2:20 to play.
Charlotte maintained a small lead for most of the first half until Wright and Chris Johnson ignited a 17-10 run over the final seven minutes to take a 30-27 lead at halftime.
Charlotte was held to it lowest point total of the year and shot just 25.0% (12-of-48) from the floor.
The Flyers travel to St. Louis to take on the Saint Louis Billikens on Saturday. Game time is 4 p.m. ET, and the game will be televised on ESPNU.
Head Coach Brian Gregory
“Our defense was focused. Other than the first six minutes, we rebounded the ball well. We shared the ball on offense, even at the end of the game. That was important for us as a team, and for me as a coach. You don’t want the guys sitting around feeling satisfied because they got the win on Saturday. We have to keep getting better and improving. The win was great, but how we did it and how we are progressing is more satisfying.”
“You are starting to see better decisions, and more poise on offense from Chris Wright. He’s been able to do stuff that a lot of guys can’t do. He can switch off and guard a point guard, and he’s getting better at it. Today he guarded a bigger guy that can play on both the inside and the out. We are trying to utilize that versatility as much as we can on both ends of the court. It’s a great challenge for any player.”
“Our guys in the first five possessions, both offensively and defensively, executed extremely well. The most important thing to me is that our guys keep playing hard and keep bringing that intensity.”
“We challenged Paul [Williams], Marcus [Johnson] and Mickey [Perry], that they had to do a great job on that kid [Derrio Green]. He’s a real high-quality scorer and is very similar, but better off the dribble than Leemire Goldwire that they had.”
“That’s real fun. It felt like when we get out in transition, that’s our best game. It was a team effort today. If we play good as a team, I don’t think anybody in the country can beat us. If only two or three guys are getting production, I don’t think we are at our best. It’s just one guy who gets us through, it’s the whole team. Give credit to Charlotte, they are a real good team. They were first in the league. I think we just came out and played a little bit harder.”
“Coach tells us to think about controlling one game at a time. We can’t think about the NCAA Tournament, that’s last year. We need to focus on one game at a time. I think it’s helped us in the second half of the season, not thinking about the NCAA Tournament and the future.”
“We just have to keep going, keep getting better and try to win games and enjoy the process along the way. It’s not going to come to you in one game and in one day. We just have to continue to grind it out each and every day.”
“That’s one of the reasons why BG recruited the guys we have here. We wanted to get out and run and if you are defending the break is there. Being able to run up and down the floor and not get tired is really good.”
“If you look at it, we are just playing our game. We do what we do best. We are getting out there like to play every other game and getting better every day. We knew we had to give our best against a very good Charlotte team to get the win.”
“We did a great job on the defensive glass today and got a lot of clean rebounds. We knew we could get out and run. Chris, Chris, Rob, Marcus, Devin, Mickey, everybody sprinted out to their lanes and they made it easy for me to just throw it out there and let them make plays.”
“It’s not a statement game. It’s just the next game we had to play. Any time we come out there we just give it our best. You have to get Charlotte a lot of credit. They are a physical team and played us tough. We just kept fighting and kept playing.”