Jan 22, 2014; Dayton, OH, USA; Dayton Flyers fans Kaila Taton and Jamie Gregory hold up a photo of guard Jordan Sibert (24) during the game against the VCU Rams at University of Dayton Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

Dayton vs Duquesne 57-54


Call it whatever you’d like. The Dukes lost to Dayton after holding an early eighteen point second half lead. The Flyers went on two extended runs after the break while Duquesne couldn’t capitalize when the Flyers went cold. The Dukes hit only twice from the field in the final ten minutes.

The Good

Defense. In general, I thought the Dukes played their best defensive game of the season and really, it wasn’t even close. They faded a little down the stretch, but ultimately, it kept them in the game and certainly didn’t cost them.

The Bad

Missed opportunities. The Dukes closed the game 3-8 from the FT line, missed three point blank shots, and some solid looks from three in the final five minutes of play. One or two more makes and this is a completely different ball game.

Don’t take my word for it though.

The Ugly

The final 18 seconds. Starting with an Ovie Soko missed free throw, the Dukes made two huge mistakes. First, they looked for the turnover instead of immediately fouling the rebound. Second, Jim Ferry didn’t call his last timeout to set up a play with ten seconds left. The only thing I can possible think is that he didn’t want to risk the five second call on the inbound play. Still, I want him to take the chance.

Play of the Game

Emphatic slam by Jordan Sibert to put the Flyers ahead for the first time. Great first step to gain the baseline and strong finish at a key moment.

Player of the Game.

Sibert. Not only was he great on offense, but he didn’t give Micah Mason the smallest bit of breathing room.

Moment I Knew It Was Over

When Jeremiah’s shot didn’t fall. Thought Mason got a good look to tie and I honestly thought he drilled it. The Dukes got a second gasp of life with the Dominique McKoy offensive rebound, but Jeremiah didn’t get off a strong desperation attempt.

Credit Where It’s Due

The difference in the game aside from the Dukes’ poor finishing was Dayton’s ability to take control of the glass. The rebounding was tied at the half but the Flyers finished the game plus ten.

Parting Thoughts

I think the coaching staff and players share the loss today. Ferry failed to establish any offensive flow in a situation where they only needed a little. Of course, his team also didn’t execute the plays he did call. Credit should go to the Flyers’ pressure, but  sloppy exchanges, poor finishing and virtually no good screens lands on the players. They didn’t make plays when it counted.

Ultimately, Duquesne ran out of gas. I sat behind the Dayton end in the second half and you could just see it on the Dukes’ faces, Soko’s in particular. He simply didn’t have anything else to give. Duquesne had three starters go 35 minutes or more. Meanwhile, the Flyers used one while six reserves got to join the party. Ferry simply didn’t have the man power to match Archie Miller’s in what amounted to an extremely intense forty minutes.

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