DAYTON, Ohio – The University of Dayton men’s basketball team fell to the Rhode Island Rams, 86-81, on Saturday at the University of Dayton Arena. With the loss, the Flyers are now 14-7 overall and 4-3 in the Atlantic 10, while Rhode Island improves to 4-18 overall and 1-6 in the A-10.
Four Flyers scored in double figures against the Rams. Senior forward Chris Johnson scored 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead Dayton in both categories. It was Johnson’s third double-double of the season, as he tied his season-high in points scored and set a new season-high in rebounds.
Redshirt junior guard Kevin Dillard had 12 points and a career-high 13 assists for his third double-double of the year. Senior forward Luke Fabrizius tied his career-best with 17 points. Fabrizius also posted a season-high six rebounds for the Flyers. Junior center Matt Kavanaugh had 12 points and six rebounds.
Rhode Island was led by sophomore guard Billy Baron on Saturday. Baron had a career-high 25 points for the Rams. Freshman forward Jonathan Holton had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The win snapped a six-game losing streak for Rhode Island. It was also the fifth straight win in the series with Dayton for the Rams.
URI scored the first eight points of the game, but Dayton came back to lead by as much as six late in the first half. The Flyers led at halftime, 36-33. UD has led at halftime in all three of its A-10 losses.
Rhode Island scored the first eight points of the second half again to regain the lead, and pushed out to as much as a six-point advantage. The Flyers battled back to go back ahead on a Kavanaugh dunk with 8:37 to go, but the game went back and forth over the next five minutes. Dayton lead by three, 75-72 at the 3:37 mark, but Rhody scored nine straight points (seven by Baron) to take control.
A pair of Fabrizius threes around a Mike Powell free throw made it a one-point game (82-81), but Powell made to freebies with 15 seconds left and when a Dayton three attempt by Holton, his two free throws made it an 86-81 final.
The Rams came into the game averaging 67.4 points a game, and shooting 40.0% FG, 26.8% 3-pt. FG and 67.4% from the line, but scored their 86 points by shooting 52.6%, 40.0% and 75.0% respectively.
Dayton returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 1 against the Duquesne Dukes. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast live on WHIO-TV and WHIO Radio.