DAYTON – The University of Dayton men’s basketball team took the win over Rhode Island in a defensive battle on Friday night at UD Arena by the final score of 53-51. Dayton improves to 14-7 (6-2 A-10), while Rhode Island drops to 12-7 (3-4 A-10).
The Flyers were led by sophomore Toumani Camara with 18 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Camara was joined in double figures by freshman DaRon Holmes II with 12 and redshirt freshman Kobe Elvis with 11.
With his six blocks, Holmes II broke the Flyer all-time single-season block record. The record was previously held by Steve McElvene in 2015-2016 (55 in 32 games). Holmes currently has 56 after 21 games. He also tied the UD single-game block record for the third time (6). He is the only Flyer to do it more than once.
1st Half: Dayton 29, Rhode Island 25
After winning the tip DaRon Holmes II started off strong with a dunk and three-pointer on back-to-back possessions both coming as the shot clock expired.
Dayton’s offense continued as they scored on their first three possessions of the game, leading Rhode Island 9-6 with 15:55 remaining in the half.
At the 13:13 mark, the Flyer’s momentum slowed a bit as they struggled to score against the Ram’s suffocating defense, though they retained the lead 13-8.
Flyers gained speed and forced a Rhode Island timeout with 12:29 left in the half as Moulaye Sissoko converted an and-one followed by a three-pointer by Camara bringing the score to 19-8.
The Flyers dominated the boards in the first half, pulling down 12 rebounds to the Rams’ six at the 8:30 mark.
The game stood still at 21-14 as both teams picked up their defense. Neither team was able to put up any points over a 5:52 run that ended with 5:42 minutes left on the clock.
At the final media timeout the Flyers lead 24-16 with 3:57 remaining in the half.
Coming out of the media timeout Camara ignited the crowd as he received an alley-oop from Malachi Smith extending the Flyer lead to eight.
Dayton led by 10 (28-18) with 2:25 left, but the Rams closed with a 7-1 run and cut the lead to the four going into the half.
2nd Half: Dayton 53, Rhode Island 51
Kobe Elvis came out of halftime strong, scoring the Flyers first six points on back-to-back threes.
With 17:21 remaining in the half, Holmes recorded his sixth block of the game breaking the single-season all-time block record with 56 blocks that was previously held by Steve McElvene in 2015-2016 (55).
Koby Brea provided a spark off the bench and re-extended Dayton’s lead to eight with 14:59 remaining.
Elvis got the crowd out of their seats as he hit his third triple of the half as the Flyers lead 45-38.
The Rams continued to fight back into the game as they converted on six of their last eight field goal attempts.
At the under-eight minute media time out the Flyers are held tight to a five-point lead (45-40) with 7:57 remaining.
Despite the timeouts, neither team found their offensive momentum as there was a 5:50 scoring drought.
Rhode Island continued to battle back as they had a 6-0 run over a 6:41 span and held the Flyers to a scoring drought of over 8:30 minutes.
With a block on the defensive end by Camara and a putback by Holmes on the offensive end the Flyers re-extended their lead to seven (49-42) with 2:41 remaining.
URI pulled to within two points with 14 seconds left, but was forced to foul.
Despite a rough shooting night from the field for both players, Malachi Smith and Mustapha Amzil drained two clutch free throws each in the last 12 seconds to end the game at 53-51 to win it for the Flyers.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Freshman DaRon Holmes broke the all-time Dayton single-season block record, recording six 6 blocks on the night to tally 56 so far this season. The previous record was held by Steven McElvene with 55
Holmes II tied the UD single-game block record for the third time (6).
Toumani Camara put up 18 of the team’s total 53 points, led the game in rebounds totaling 10, and had four assists. This marked Camara’s third double-double of the season.
Holmes added 12 points on 5-6 shooting and Kobe Elvis contributed another 11 points.
Dayton’s defense stepped up forcing 16 turnovers and turned the defense into offense adding eight points off the turnovers.
Dayton outrebounded the Rams 37-35 and was able to produce 11 second-chance points.
Malachi Smith contributed six assists adding to Dayton’s 13 total assists on the night.
The Flyers will hit the road to take on VCU at the Stuart C. Siegel Center on Wednesday, Feb. 2nd at 9 p.m. ET.
The game will be televised on CBS Sports.
UD will then stay on the road headed next to Chaifetz Arena where they will play Saint Louis on Saturday, Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. ET.
Dayton’s next home game will be on Wednesday, Feb. 9 against Duquesne.