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With 40 minutes until gametime, it appears Dayton will have a strong turn-out. There are about 100 fans in the bleachers.
I ran into a scout for the Detroit Pistons on my way in. He's watching Flyers' sophomore
The Flyers are a 2 or 2.5-point
favorite. I might be wrong, but the Zips haven't been an underdog at home since the Nevada game. Right?
Chris McKnight is dressed tonight after bruising his rib against Niagara. Keith Dambrot told
Tom Gaffney that McKnight is questionable.
I'm studying during the game for an Evidence exam tomorrow at 1 p.m. My Evidence professor,
Dana Cole, actually went to Dayton for law school. On that topic, the statement in the previous paragraph is hearsay. (However, if you consider Dayton v. Akron as a lawsuit, Dambrot's quote would be a Party Admission, which is an exception to hearsay. Man, I'm a nerd.)
You can see why Dayton's games are so loud. Its fans are raucous.
Akron's starting lineup:
Nate Linhart and
Joe Dunn told me there are a few local recruits here tonight. From what he knew, they don't have scholarship offers, though.
On Thursday, I said Akron would win tonight. I should mention that post came after a glass of wine with my girlfriend. Normally, I keep booze and blogging separate, just so you know.
This has been a quick, up-and-down game. Wright just dunked off a missed fast-break layup. Hitchens had Akron's first six points off 3-pointers.
With the shot clock running out, Linhart drilled a one-handed desperation 3 from the nose on the Zippy logo at halfcourt. Hitchens splashed another 3. He is looking more comfortable with the ball.
The men's soccer team was honored during a time-out. I wonder if that's the last glimpse fans will get of
The refs just called a mysterious technical foul on Linhart, then blew a ticky tack whistle on
Brett McKnight right in front of me. Dayton is pressing Hitchens now.
We are only eight minutes into this game, but the officials are the worst I've seen all season. Bad calls both ways. They completely took the fun out of it. Maybe they thought we all came to see them blow their whistles.
Hitchens swiped the ball from Dayton's point guard and went to the other coast for a layup.
Wright has two fouls. That should keep him on the bench for a little while. Hitchens also just got his second foul and Dambrot pulled him and his game-leading 13 points.
Both teams are dribbling too much, committing turnovers and shooting poorly. The bulk of this game's points are coming at the free throw line.
I AM SO EXCITED! The halftime show is the woman who flips bowls onto her head while riding a unicycle. YES!!!
The Red Panda Acrobat lived up to expectations. It took her three times, but finally she executed her grand finale of tossing five bowls on top of her head while there was already a stack up there. Tremendous!
Haltime stats of note: Akron leads in rebounding, 20 to 16. The teams combined for two assists. Both were from Akron. As to that latter stat, I've never seen anything like it.
Dayton just executed a jaw-dropping alley-oop to Wright. I didn't think there was any chance he could reach the ball that was up near the top of the square.
Dayton picked up its fourth foul of the half with only 3:30 gone in the half. The way the refs are calling this game, it will come down to the free-throw line. Hitchens just picked up his third. The freshman already has tied his career high.
The Flyers' offense is starting to look more fluid. They are making some good cuts down low.
Dayton is 0-for-10 on 3-point attempts. The most recent one swirled around the rim and came out. Oh, there's another -- 0-for-11. Before I could post, the Flyers hit a 3. They took their first lead since the first minute of the game. Chris McKnight answered with a 3.
The referees called a double-technical foul. One went to Brett McKnight.
The referees and coaches are going back and forth about the referees calling a media timeout prematurely. You're supposed to call one after 12 minutes, eight minutes and four minutes. This one came before, not after, the eight-minute mark.
Hitchens just got called for a 10-second violation. It was more like 11 or 12 before the whistle blew.
The referee circus has hit a crescendo. Dayton's guard slipped and fell while being lightly guarded. The ball and the player went out of bounds. No referee called anything after the ball went out. Finally, a ref called it Dayton ball. Absurd.
Both teams are getting a lot of steals.
Conyers is playing one of the best games of his career. He has been scrappy on defense with 10 points and seven rebounds. He pumped his fist after making a jumper. It's good to see him build confidence. I still have a glimmer of hope that he can be an above-average MAC player.
Hitchens has 17 points, a new career high. The old mark was only three days old. My concern is that he is still too turnover-prone for a point guard. Roberts should be handling the ball a little more.
The Zips played terrific defense on Dayton when the Flyers had a two-point lead and the ball with a minute to go. They have the ball with 18.8 seconds left. Timeout Akron.
I think the Zips should look for Bardo down low with a kickout to one of the guards. Dayton is good at getting in position and drawing a charge, so driving the ball with Brett McKnight is not the best choice. Whoops. Bardo is not in. We shall see...
Hitchens drove and made a perfect feed to Brett McKnight. His three-foot floater hit the back of the rim and popped out. Dayton is shooting one-and-one after securing the rebound.
Chris Johnson bricked the first foul shot. It was a long rebound to Dayton. The shooter caught it. Conyers fouled him. He made the first free throw. Dayton timeout; they are up three.
Akron needs a long rebound, outlet pass and quick 3 pointer. Or they could call timeout and set something up with a rebound under the hoop. If Johnson makes the free throw, game over.
The Zips lost, but it easily could have been a win. They played great defense against a team with superior athleticism. Dambrot was really worried about the defense a few weeks ago. He cannot be upset after tonight. The team has improve by at least 15 points per game since that Walsh debacle.
Both teams had hideous assist-to-turnover ratios (5-15 for Dayton, 5-16 for Akron). Wright was game leader with 18 points. Conyers had eight rebounds. Akron shot 25 percent. Dayton was 34 percent but 1-of-16 on 3s.
I'm not sticking around for the press conference. Time is gold during exam week!
Final score -- Akron 50, Dayton 54