Dayton Flyers vs. George Washington Colonials Pick & Prediction JANUARY 30th 2024

No. 21 Dayton rode the Atlantic 10’s best defense to an unblemished six-game conference mark before its first loss.

The Flyers (16-3, 6-1 Atlantic 10) will look to get back on track Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio, against a George Washington team that is looking to rediscover its scoring touch.

Dayton, which had a 13-game winning streak snapped Saturday at Richmond, is surrendering only 64.1 points per game, 23rd in Division I. But the Flyers scored only 64 in losing by five against the Spiders.

“First half, I thought, we couldn’t make shots, really. Came down to, I thought we got some good looks, I thought we got out of character at times offensively, rushed some things,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said afterward.

In particular, the Flyers’ leading scorer, DaRon Holmes II, finished with just nine points, 10 below his season average. He had only three in the first half.

“Early, I know they were throwing multiple bodies at him,” Grant said of Richmond’s defense. “We just got to do better, and I think we’ll learn from this game.”

The trio of Nate Santos, Koby Brea and Kobe Elvis are each averaging from 10.0 to 11.3 points per game, with Brea shooting 48.2 percent on 3-pointers, second in the country.

The Flyers are also coming home, where they are 10-0.

How Dayton deals with its first defeat in more than two months “will come down to our level of maturity as a group,” Grant said.

“That’s a part of life, how you handle adversity that hits you at some point, and how you respond to that. It’s like two sides of that coin: How do you handle prosperity, how do you handle adversity,” Grant added.

George Washington (14-6, 3-4) is dealing with three straight games of adversity, having fallen to teams in the middle (UMass), at the top (Richmond) and near the bottom (La Salle) of the Atlantic 10.

The Revolutionaries are averaging 80.8 points per game this season but just 70.3 amid the skid.

Starting center Babatunde Akingbola, in his first season with the team after four at Auburn, said after Saturday’s 80-70 loss to visiting La Salle that there would be a “players only meeting” before taking on Dayton.

One of coach Chris Caputo’s long-standing concerns has been turnovers. His team is averaging 13.9 per game.

“We are working towards trying to take care of the ball better,” he said last week. “We’ve gotten better on the defensive glass, but the turnover battle is something that we fight every single day. We turn it over in transition a lot. It’s kind of odd, but we’ve got to continue to make better decisions.”

After having double-digit turnover counts in their first 18 games, the Revolutionaries had nine in each of the last two games. But seven of the nine against La Salle came in the first half, when the Explorers led by as many as nine points.

George Washington had the lead down to four at intermission and got within one early in the second half, but they shot only 37.5 percent from the floor in the half and never got closer than six points in the final 11 1/2 minutes.

James Bishop IV leads four players in double figures with 17.9 points per game for George Washington. Darren Buchanan Jr., who netted 24 points and 12 rebounds against La Salle, is next at 15.5.

–Field Level Media

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