Archie Miller’s Dayton Flyers, having lost their last four games, needed to knock off George Washington in the worst way on Saturday afternoon. During much of non-conference play the Flyers had the look of a team capable of factoring into the Atlantic 10 race, but things hadn’t worked out that way through their first six league games.
That fortune changed on Saturday, with the Flyers winning 75-65. Devin Oliver led a balanced offensive effort with 17 points (and nine rebounds), and as a team the Flyers assisted on 18 of their 24 made field goals. Dayton was at its best offensively in the first half, shooting 50% from the field and 5-for-10 from beyond the arc to open up a 38-29 lead at the intermission.
Isaiah Armwood scored 19 points to lead the way for George Washington, which played without injured starters Maurice Creek, Joe McDonald and Kethan Savage on Saturday afternoon.
How big was this win for a team that entered the game 1-5 in Atlantic 10 play? With their next two games, George Mason and St. Bonaventure (which beat UMass earlier this week), being on the road Dayton could have been in serious trouble without a win over the Colonials. Offensive balance and solid defense made the difference for the Flyers on Saturday, and they’ll need that formula if they’re climb out of the 2-5 hole they’re still in.