Dayton, OH — Saturday night’s contest between the Akron Zips and Dayton Flyers was played evenly throughout much of the first half, as both teams had success in spurts. Akron and Dayton both went on small scoring runs throughout the half, however each time that happened the other team would respond with a scoring run of their own. Akron took a five-point lead into the locker room at the half.
Dayton began the second half on an 11-0 run to regain the lead, led by sharp shooting from senior guard Darrell Davis (12 points) and freshman guard Jordan Davis (14 points). Both guards had it going from behind the arc in the second half, to help Dayton pull away to a 73- 60 victory.
Josh Cunningham played a major role for the Flyers in this contest. The junior forward dominated as he did a great job of pounding the boards and starting the break. Cunningham plays with great pace and balance, but he always plays very hard. He also plays very physical and understands how to draw contact and get to the free-throw line. Cunningham played with force and toughness from start to finish. He led the Flyers attack with 20 points, 16 rebounds and three assists.
Matej Svoboda impacted the game in many different ways for the flyers. The 6-7 forward plays with a ton of energy, he made an instant impact off of the bench whenever he was inserted into the contest. Svoboda was very active around the rim on both sides of the floor. He did a good job fighting for rebounds and also finishing strong around the basket. He is also a good shooter in catch and shoot situations. He has great range and made timely baskets throughout the night, including a deep three towards the end of the first half to stop an Akron run. Although he was plagued by foul trouble for much of the night, he was a difference maker for his team off of the bench. Svoboda finished the game with nine points, four boards, and two assists.
Freshman forward Kostas Antetokounpo was a force at both ends of the floor for the Flyers. His length really made things difficult for the Zips. On the defensive end of the floor he utilized his long wingspan to block shots and get many deflections. Much of his contributions won’t show on the stats sheet, as he changed and altered many shots at the rim. Dayton’s defense was much tougher whenever he was on the floor. At the offensive end he did a great job of running the floor for transition opportunities. At 6-10 he runs the floor effortlessly and is very agile and athletic. He has good soft hands and finishes strong above the rim. Antetokounpo contributed 12 points, three boards, two blocks and two steals.
For Akron sophomore guard Daniel Utomi had the hot hand for much of the night, as he was able to help keep the game close into the second half. He did a nice job of spotting up and knocking down some long range shots. He has a nice soft stroke with great form and will also mix it up in the lane to get some tough rebounds. Utomi ended the game with 19 points, on 4-of-7 shooting from behind the arc. He also added five rebounds and three assists.
With the defeat Akron suffered their first loss of the season as they fall to 2-1. Dayton improved to 3-2 with the win. Next up for the Flyers will be a matchup against the Auburn Tigers on 11/29. Akron will attempt to regroup when they host UT Chattanooga on 11/28.
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