Men's Basketball Falls Short at Dayton, 88-78
Watanabe scores 21, Toro double-doubles with 13 and 10
DAYTON, Ohio -- On Saturday afternoon at UD Arena, the GW men's basketball team and Dayton Flyers entered their matchup with identical conference records looking to improve their seeding in the upcoming Atlantic 10 Tournament. In what turned out to be an evenly-matched contest, the Flyers proved to be too much down the stretch as they handed the visiting Colonials an 88-78 defeat.
The Colonials once again shot it well from the field with a .508 clip but were outdone by the hosts, who shot 55.2 percent and connected on 9-of-23 three-pointers. In a packed house of 13,350 Flyers fans celebrating Senior Day, Dayton's Darrell Davis put on a show in his final home game. The senior connected on 8-of-12 shots, including 5-of-8 threes, to finish with a game-high 22 points. Josh Cunningham and Trey Landers contributed 17 apiece as five Flyers finished in double figures, with Kostas Antetokounmpo (14) and Jordan Davis (11) also hitting double figures.
As he has been over the last several weeks, Arnaldo Toro was a force down low for the Colonials, contributing his third double-double in the last four games with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Yuta Watanabe continued his stellar play with a team-high 21 points, marking his fourth 20-point effort in the last five games, and Jair Bolden came off the bench to chip in 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
The teams were neck-and-neck in the latter part of the first half, after GW recovered from a slow start by hitting 10 straight field goal attempts over a seven-minute span. Two separate 6-0 GW runs made it a four-point game but the Colonials weren't able to get closer and headed into halftime trailing 37-32.
Coming out of the locker room, GW went on an 8-3 run and took its first lead of the game on a bucket from Toro that made it 41-40. The teams traded baskets and Toro hit a pair of free throws to tie it up 46-46, but from there Dayton caught fire as Davis and Cunningham combined for a 12-0 run. Despite GW's best effort on the offensive end to get back in the game, with Watanabe scoring 16 second half points, the Flyers matched the Colonials shot-for-shot and finished the half shooting 61 percent.
With the regular season now wrapped up, GW will be the No. 11 seed and play on Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. in the opening round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. The Colonials will No. 14 seed Fordham.
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