Dayton bounces back from UNLV loss with a 60-51 win over RMU

DAYTON (AP) — DaRon Holmes II scored 18 points and No. 21 Dayton shook off an unranked loss at UNLV on Saturday with a 60-51 win over cold-shooting Robert Morris.

Mustapha Amzil came off the bench to add 12 points for the Flyers (3-1), who shot 42.1% from the field compared to 34.5% for the Colonials.

“I think the story of the game was our defense,” said Dayton coach Anthony Grant. “We set the tone early on and were able to build up a lead. We were really good for the first 12-13 minutes. Then we got out of rhythm offensively. We had a break. One of our strengths must be that we maintain consistency. They attacked us man to man so we switched to a zone. I think our defense carried us out on the track.

“If you have a low level of consistency but your defense is in position, you have a good chance of winning every night.”

Enoch Cheeks scored 15 points and Josh Corbin added 12 to lead Robert Morris (2-2), who had won two games in a row.

The Colonials drew to six, 41-35, on Corbin’s 3-pointer with 12:41 in the game, but Dayton regained command with a 7-0 run that started with back-to-back dunks from Toumani Camara and Holmes before Amzil connected himself with a 3-pointer with 7:59 remaining.

Camara finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds.

Dayton’s defense limited Robert Morris to 20 of 58 shots, including 7 of 22 (31.8%) on 3-pointers. The Colonials went into the game shooting 48.4% overall and 44.9% from over the arc.

Amzil and Holmes were combined 12 of 16 from the field in a game that saw the Flyers lead all the way.

The Colonials missed 13 of their first 16 shots and helped Dayton take a 15-point lead, 24-9, with a 7:35 first-half lead. Holmes capped a 15-2 run with five straight points on a breakaway dunk after a turnover from Robert Morris and a 3-pointer.

Dayton then went cold and missed eight straight shots, including six 3-pointers. This allowed the Colonials to sneak up to six points twice before halftime before Amzil sank a 3-pointer for a 30-21 halftime lead.

Dayton squandered a 12-point lead in a 60-52 loss to UNLV on Tuesday night.

“We have to remember that,” said Amzil. “It was a poor performance, but at the same time we had to put it aside and forget it. Good thing we didn’t have much time to think about it.”

NERVOUS

Dayton’s Malachi Smith said he feels more nervous than rusty after scoring 2-of-8 overall and 0-of-2 with 3 points in his first game of the season. Smith was sidelined with a right ankle injury. He finished with five points and three steals.

BIG PICTURE

Robert Morris: The game was the first of seven straight away games for the Colonials, including four real away games and three at neutral venues. They won’t be playing at home until December 10th.

Dayton: The Flyers’ starting lineup included a junior (Camara), two redshirt sophomores (RJ Blakney and Kobe Elvis), and two full-time sophomores (Holmes and Smith). Amzil is also a second-year redshirt.

NEXT

Robert Morris: The Colonials travel to Savannah, Georgia to face Mercer in Friday’s Hostilo Hoops Community Classic.

Dayton: The Flyers take on Wisconsin Wednesday in the Bahamas at Bad Boy Mowers Battle4Atlantis.

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