Bulls Come Off Break For Wednesday Road Test at Dayton
DAYTON, OH - Looking to earn its first road win of the season, the Buffalo men's basketball team will face the Dayton Flyers Wednesday evening in the first meeting ever between the two teams. Team will be the operative word as both teams are deep in scoring options. The Bulls (3-1) last played November 22 in a convincing 94-59 win over rival Canisius while Dayton (5-1) spent the past weekend wrapping up a title at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando.
Last Tuesday, the Buffalo defense forced 21 Canisius turnovers and five Bulls hit double figures in scoring to secure the largest margin of victory ever in the series. Zach Filzen found his touch from the outside and also showed excellent penetration of the Griff defense to lead all scorers with 19. For the season, three Bulls average 13 points or more per game with Javon McCrea averaging a team-high 16.8 points per game. McCrea and a Mitchell Watt share the team rebounds per game lead, with 6.3 caroms per game.
The Flyers are experiencing a lot of early success under first year head coach Archie Miller, who came to the team from Arizona and his brother Sean's coaching staff. After losing on the road to fellow Mid-American Conference foe Miami (OH), the Flyers have reeled off four straight quality wins. In a four-day stretch this past weekend, the team downed Wake Forest, Fairfield and Minnesota to claim the Old Spice Classic. Leading the way in the early going has been first-year transfer Kevin Dillard, who was named the MVP of the weekend tournament and leads the team with 13.3 points per game. The team has been extraordinarily tough to beat on its home court of UD Arena, with a non-conference home record of 58-5 since the 2004-05 season.
The two teams are eerily similar in a few telling statistics. Both teams average over 70 points per game (Buffalo 71.8, Dayton 75) and both teams rely on a deep bench to generate those points. The Flyers and Bulls each have eight players who see 13 minutes or more and while Buffalo has three players who average double figures, Dayton has four. The two main advantages Buffalo will need to take advantage of is its current rebounding average of 40.5 per game and the slight height advantage, and the fact that it is hitting 43.5 percent from the field while holding opponents to under 39 percent and forcing 65 turnovers.
Fans who can't make the trip out to Dayton will be able to watch the game on Fox Sports Ohio, or tune into 1230 AM The Breeze for Josh Whetzel's call of the game. Tipoff is set for 7 pm.