Dayton falls to Rhode Island
DAYTON (UD Athletics) – Josh Cunningham scored a career-high 32 points and recorded a double-double with 12 rebounds, but the University of Dayton Flyers came up short against Rhode Island 88-74 in front of a sold-out crowd at UD Arena.
Dayton drops to 9-10 overall and 3-4 in the Atlantic 10, while Rhode Island improves to 15-3 and 7-0 in the A-10.
Darrell Davis and Trey Landers added 11 points each.
Dayton started the game off with some explosive dunks from Josh Cunningham and Trey Landers for a tight score of 11-10 Flyers at the fifteen-minute mark.
The Rams came out of the TV time-out with a 6-0 run to lead Dayton 16-11.
UD Arena was erupting with 10 minutes remaining in the half after a coast-to-coast drive in transition from Kostas Antetokounmpo started a Flyers 9-0 run to put them up 29-24. (Dare we say "Kostas-to-Kostas?")
Darrell Davis finished his impressive made free throw streak at 36 straight over the last nine games, tying the all-time Dayton record set by Damon Goodwin in 1983-84.
Rhode Island demonstrated its maturity down the stretch of the first half, going on a 16-1 run to take control of the game. (URI is the 35th most-experienced team in the nation, while Dayton is 300th in returning experience).
Dayton came charging back with five points to finish the half 50-43 Rams.
Dayton finished the half shooting 65% from the field only missing two shots from within the arc.
A 6-0 run early in the second half made it a four-point game, but five straight points by URI senior Jared Terrell pushed it back out to nine.
UD struggled to shoot from outside the arc failing to hit a three until the final minute of regulation.
Josh Cunningham was on fire in the second half hitting 9-of-10 field goals for 20 of Dayton's 31 second-half points.
Six of Dayton's eight assists in the second half were passes to Cunningham.
The Flyers shot 62% from the field in the second half.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Josh Cunningham scored a career-high 32 points and had his eighth straight game in double digits.
It was also his sixth game of the season with 20+ points, and his 11 rebounds made it his sixth double-double of the year.
Rhode Island's 12 offensive rebounds and 16 second-chance points proved the difference maker, topping Dayton's three and two respectively.
The all-time series between the Flyers and Rams is now 18-15 in favor of Dayton.
The Flyers will take on A-10 opponent Davidson at UD Arena on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. ET.