Dayton entered its game with Saint Louis University on Tuesday having lost three of five, and Darrell Davis made sure it didn’t become four of six.
Which is funny because Davis was 4-of-6 from downtown. He scored a game-high 12 points against SLU – all on three-pointers, including the go-ahead triple with 3:08 to play – as Dayton escaped with a 51-44 road win at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis.
Talk about a clutch performance.
“Yeah, I got confidence from my team,” Davis said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “They told me to shoot the ball more.”
Davis certainly did that, scoring 12 points on just eight shots from the field. He also had one rebound and one assist.
“Yeah, I was feeling it,” Davis said. “I got confidence in my team. We’ve been playing through my coach (Archie Miller). He’s been telling me to shoot the ball more and be confident in my shot.”
Davis was the lone offensive bright spot Tuesday, as both teams shot horrendously. Dayton was 14-of-43 (32.6 percent) from the field, including 6-of-22 (27.3 percent) from three. Without Davis, those numbers would have been 28.6 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively.
“I had confidence in myself,” Davis said. “We just play within the team.”
SLU didn’t fare much better, shooting 32.7 percent from the floor and a woeful 1-of-11 (9.1 percent) from three.
While Davis supplied the scoring, Scoochie Smith supplied the defense. Smith had five of Dayton’s 14 steals. He also had nine points, three assists and two rebounds.
“We play within our team defense,” Davis said. “Scoochie got five steals during the game. “
Dyshawn Pierre and Kendall Pollard had solid games in the post for Dayton. They combined to shoot just 5-of-15 from the floor, but Pollard was 9-of-14 from the foul line. That duo combined for 19 points and 21 rebounds, including eight on the offensive glass.
“Getting second shots, being able to score more points (was important),” Davis said.
A hard-fought win was just what Dayton (18-5, 8-3) needed after losing by a point at the buzzer in overtime against George Washington on Feb. 6.
“It was very nice (to get a win),” Davis said. “Losing on a buzzer-beater was a heart-breaker last game. But we practice hard to prepare for the game. And we told ourselves, ‘We want to win this game,’ so we played hard and came out with a W.”
Dayton plays its next two games at home: against St. Bonaventure (13-8, 6-4) this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET and against Saint Joseph’s (10-12, 4-6) Feb 19 at 6 p.m. ET.
“It will be nice (to play at home),” Davis said. “We’re undefeated at home, so we’re just going to build upon that and try to win the game and play within the season.”
Scott Ferrall asked Davis if he thought the A-10 could get more than two or three teams in the tournament this year. The top four teams in the league are No. 20 VCU, Rhode Island, Dayton and GW.
“Yeah, I think so,” Davis said. “I think we can get more than two or three teams in the tournament. I think it’s possible.”