No. 21 Dayton will look to keep its early-season momentum going when the Flyers travel to Las Vegas for a game with UNLV on Tuesday night.
Mustapha Amzil (17.0 points per game) and DaRon Holmes II (16.5) have led the Flyers in their first two wins, over Lindenwood and SMU. Amzil and Holmes each had 20 points in a 74-62 victory over SMU on Friday.
Holmes was 7-of-11 from the field against SMU; he also blocked five shots and grabbed seven rebounds while playing in 39 of the game’s 40 minutes. Holmes was pivotal in Dayton’s 15-3 game-ending run that helped the Flyers pull away for the victory.
“I would say the thing that impressed me about him, and our team, was they stayed poised,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “This was a back-and-forth, highly contested game. At one point, in the second half, we had a 13-point lead, and they erased it.
“They didn’t get rattled. We showed great poise as a group. Certainly DaRon, we went to him a lot. I thought he was aggressive to score. I thought he read the defense and made some outstanding passes to his teammates that led to open looks.”
UNLV also has won its first two games and is coming off an 88-63 home victory over Incarnate Word on Saturday. Tuesday’s game will be the third of a season-opening four-game homestand for the Rebels and is a huge step up in class against a ranked opponent.
Keshon Gilbert recorded a career high in scoring for a second consecutive game, with 23 points on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range. Gilbert also chipped in with a career-high four steals.
Jackie Johnson III added 13 points for the Rebels, while Luis Rodriguez added 10 points with a career-high six steals, six rebounds and five assists. Gilbert, Johnson and Rodriguez combined to shoot 64 percent (16 of 25) from the field.
UNLV has forced at least 25 turnovers in each of its first two games. Southern committed 28 on Monday before Incarnate Word turned it over 25 times Saturday, leading to 29 points for UNLV.
“I thought it was a really great effort defensively,” UNLV coach Kevin Kruger said. “Again, forcing 25 turnovers is what gets things going for us. I’m really proud and happy for them. We shot it well, shared the ball, got it in the paint, kicked it out, swung it, drove it — a lot of good plays for each other.
“We were able to get downhill and get to the free-throw line, so that’s going to have to be our m.o. offensively, just sharing it, driving and kicking, relocating. But all-in-all I thought it was a pretty good night for us.”
UNLV dominated from the free-throw line, attempting 29 to Incarnate Word’s three. After converting just 4 of 26 from 3-point range against Southern, UNLV recovered to drain 7 of 15 against Incarnate Word and has made at least one 3-pointer in an NCAA-record 1,163 straight games.
–Field Level Media