by Ray Floriani
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - The Atlantic Ten quarterfinals at Boardwalk Hall, gave us two outstanding afternoon games. Lower seeds pulled the upsets in both. The evening saw the higher seeds 'hold serve' with one blowout (Temple over LaSalle) followed by a close Richmond elimination of Rhode Island. Now, the game of the day. An easy one.
Game of the Day:
Pace was moderate but to the eye seemed faster. That was due to both teams aggressively pushing the ball. The difference was, if the transition opportunity was not there, the offense shifted to half court mode. The Four Factors:
Dayton shot the ball well, aided by an 8 of 13 (62%) mark from three. Good thing they were on as the turnover rate cancelled almost a quarter of their possessions.
Rebounding was a pre-game priority and Brian Gregory's club responded well. Xavier did do damage in the lane however. They were 53% from two point range, enjoying a slight 32-28 edge in points in the paint.
Getting more into the 'numbers' approach, Dayton was swept by their in state rivals twice. Gregory emphasized that 70 of the 80 minutes, in the two games, Dayton was right there. The focus was on improving on those minutes they fell short rather than come in with the concern of facing a higher seeded opponent who swept you in the regular season.
Chris Johnson of Dayton led all with 10 rebounds. Johnson put together a nice showing with 12 points, an assist and two steals.
The Manley Efficiency leaders:
|C. Johnson, Dayton||22|
|Tu Holloway, Xavier||18|
|P. Williams, Dayton||14|
Holloway of Xavier led all scorers with 23 points. He was 7 of 17 from the floor but did have five assists against just two turnovers.
Williams, a junior guard hit a few timely treys. He finished with 14 points, hitting 4 of 6 beyond the arc.
Xavier committed only 10 turnovers but Jamel McLean and Mark Lyons had four each.
Luke Fabrizius added 10 points in 15 minutes for the Flyers. The junior forward won't soon be forgotten in the annals of this rivalry as he canned two game winning free throws with 5.8 seconds left. Holloway's last second attempt from deep rimmed and Dayton was celebrating and semifinal bound.
Will be back with a follow up including a general look at the other three contests from the quarters. And, not to mention, pictures.