DAYTON – The University of Dayton men’s basketball team opened the 2020-21 regular season with a 66-63 victory over Eastern Illinois at UD Arena Tuesday night. With the win, the Flyers extended their win streak to 21 consecutive games dating back to last season.
The Flyers, who never trailed in the contest, were led by Ibi Watson who finished with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while adding six rebounds. Chase Johnson added 14 point, hitting a team-high three triples, along with picking up seven rebounds and four assists. Jalen Crutcher and Jordy Tshimanga also finished in double-figures, scoring 13 and 10, respectively.
1st half: Dayton 38, Eastern Illinois 33
· Rodney Chatman opened the season for the Flyers on a high note, picking up a steal on the first possession of the contest vs. Eastern Illinois.
· Chase Johnson picked up the first points of the season, hitting a three on an assist by Jalen Crutcher.
· Dayton started fast out of the gate scoring the first seven points of the game before a timeout by EIU with 17:51 left.
· The Flyers then extended the lead to 17-4 in the first four minutes highlighted by five straight Watson points.
· The Flyers led 25-12 at the under-12 timeout. Watson had seven points and Johnson had 6 to that point.
· The Panthers cut the lead to 27-19 after a 4:02 scoring drought for Dayton.
· The Panthers made 5-of-6 shots during that span, with the Flyers missing four in a row before Johnson put down the first dunk of the season.
· A 14-8 Panther run cut the Flyers lead to 35-33 before Crutcher put the Flyers back up by five with a three.
2nd Half: Dayton 66, Eastern Illinois 63
· The Flyers scored 10 unanswered to start the half, capped off by a Johnson three to extend the lead to 48-33.
· During that span, the Panthers missed their first eight shots over the first 5:45 of the second half.
· The Panthers used an 11-0 run to cut the Flyers lead to one with 17 seconds left thanks to a Dayton scoring drought that lasted almost three and a half minutes.
· Crutcher made two free throws to extend the lead to three and take the victory for the Flyers.
· The Flyers spread out the scoring in the second half with six different UD players netting points, with Crutcher leading the way with eight.
· Dayton narrowly outrebounded the Panthers in the second half, 18-17.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
· Chase Johnson set career highs with seven rebounds and four assists.
· Seven different Flyers scored for the Flyers.
· Dayton recorded more assists (16-12), steals (6-3), and blocks (2-1) than Eastern Illinois.
· The Flyers never trailed in the contest leading for 39 of the 40 minutes.
· The Flyers narrowly missed having all five starters in double figures. Senior guard Rodney Chatman had nine points, with four assists and a Flyer career high four steals.
· Dayton is home for the next two games.
· The Flyers will take on SMU on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. ET.
· Dayton will close out the season-opening homestand on Tuesday, Dec. 8 vs. Purdue Fort Wayne. That game will tip at 7 p.m. ET.