DAYTON, OHIO – Kendall Pollard scored 19 points as Dayton held on to defeat Saint Joseph’s, 77-70, at the University of Dayton Arena. SJU’s Lamarr Kimble had 25 points and 10 assists for the first double-double of his career and Charlie Brown scored 17 points for the Hawks, who were without two starters.
Saint Joseph’s had only 10 healthy players dressed for the game as James Demery and Chris Clover were unable to make the trip due to illness. Senior Brendan Casper and freshman Nick Robinson started in their places for the Hawks, who already have three players out for the season with injuries.
The teams were tied at the half, 32-32, but Dayton opened the second half with three three-pointers and although Brown converted a 3-point play, the Hawks trailed 44-39.
Another three from Brown brought the Hawks within 46-42 but Davis hit his third three of the half, to push the Dayton edge to 49-42.
Dayton took its biggest lead of the game, 60-46, but the Hawks went on a 7-0 run, ending with a three from Kimble to pull within 60-53.
After Markell Lodge jammed in a pair of putbacks, the Hawks cut the deficit to 66-60 with 3:59 to play. Kimble pulled SJU within 66-63 on another three but Smith answered for Dayton with a layup and followed with a three-pointer to build Dayton’s lead back to 71-63.
After the teams traded free throws, the Flyers appeared to put the game away at 1:41 on a layup by Smith, increasing it to 75-67, but Brown hit his fourth three of the game to get SJU within 75-70. Pollard iced the game for the Flyers hitting a pair of free throws at :19.
Dayton led early on but the Hawks took their first lead of the game, 12-11, on five straight by Kimble. A dunk by Jai Williams gave SJU its biggest lead of the half, 14-11.
With the Hawks holding an 18-16 edge, Dayton scored seven straight points to go up, 23-18. Trailing 29-25, the Hawks got four straight from Kimble to tie the score, 29-29, with :37 seconds to go in the half. Cooke connected on a three-pointer to put Dayton ahead but Kimble quickly tied it, 32-32, with a three of his own at the buzzer.
SJU’s first-half defense limited Dayton to shooting just 36.1 percent but the Flyers turned it around in the second, hitting 54.2 percent.
Williams tied his career-high with eight points on 4-for-4 shooting while Casper tied his career-high in rebounds with a team-high nine. Lodge finished the game with eight points and eight rebounds.
The teams both shot 43 percent from the field and had 10 turnovers. Saint Joseph's, which entered the game shooting 64.2 percent from the foul line, converted a season-best 92.3 percent in the game.