Creighton at Dayton 11-14-09

November 14, 2009


Dayton isn’t wasting any time putting its No. 21 ranking and 20-game home winning streak on the line against a quality opponent. The Flyers won’t face an easy task Saturday when they take on Creighton, which has won at least 20 games for 11 straight seasons to set a Missouri Valley Conference record. Dayton is ranked in a preseason poll for the first time since 1967-68. The Flyers went 27-8 last season and finished in a three-way tie for second place in the Atlantic 10, then lost to Kansas in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Expectations are high with Dayton selling a record 9,754 season tickets. The Flyers have four starters back and hope to provide some relief to a community hit hard by economic woes.

Creighton isn’t the type of opponent most ranked teams schedule for their openers. The Bluejays have three starters back from a squad that went 27-8 and finished in a first-place tie with Northern Iowa in the MVC.

The teams’ 54 combined wins from last season are the most of any season-opening game in 2009-10. Creighton will try to hand Dayton its first home loss since Feb. 24, 2008. The Bluejays spoiled the Flyers’ 8-0 start last season with a 77-59 victory Jan. 6, limiting Dayton to 35.7 percent shooting.

Creighton’s top returning scorer is forward P’Allen Stinnett, who averaged 12.5 points. Cavel Witter may move into the starting lineup after being the Bluejays’ top scorer off the bench in 2008-09.

Stinnett and Witter combined for 27 points in last season’s win over Dayton. The Flyers lead the all-time series 6-4 and 4-1 at home. This should be a great game today. I like Creighton with the points in a tough road game for them.

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By Lawrence Tate Associate Editor



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