ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Some quick halftime thoughts as No. 2 Xavier (23-7) and No. 7 Dayton (20-11) play the third quarterfinal of the day in the A-10 tourney here at Boardwalk Hall:
The Flyers came out, well, flying tonight. This game is being played at a frenetic pace and Dayton tried to run the Musketeers out of the gym -- just like the Feb. 6 game played at Dayton Arena and won by the home team 90-65. That’s unlikely tonight but Dayton needs a win to try and get back on the right side of the bubble and keep its NCAA hopes alive -- and Brian Gregory’s club is playing like it. And hitting 5 of 7 from beyond the arc doesn’t hurt either.
The Musketeers don’t need this game and in some aspects are playing like it. Chris Mack’s club is self destructing in a couple of key areas: more turnovers (10) than assists (4); and 3-point field goals, where XU is 1-for-8 (.125).
Dayton has three players in double figures, led by Rob Lowery’s 12 points (2 of 3 from 3) to along with 3 assists and 4 steals. Xavier’s Jason Love leads his team in both points (11) and rebounds (6).
Despite calling 24 total fouls, the officiating crew is letting these boys play. At times it looks like a full contact track meet. Suffice it to say, this game is not for the faint of heart in the paint, in transition or on the break. And players and coaches alike are taking every opportunity to point out all of the transgressions that haven’t been called. Here’s to more of the former (letting them play) and less of the latter (whining).