February 09, 2016

It's been over two years since Dayton lost a home game in the Atlantic 10, and its recent play hints at that streak stretching on for some time.

Duquesne will try to avoid being the 20th straight conference foe to fall there Tuesday night, while the 19th-ranked Flyers also attempt to match their longest overall winning streak in the last eight seasons.

The overall streak reached seven with Dayton's 98-64 win at George Mason on Saturday. The Flyers (19-3, 9-1) won eight in a row last season but haven't gone beyond that since stringing 13 together in 2007-08.

The latest victories have been increasingly impressive with Dayton shooting 62.9 percent and hitting 14 of 22 from 3-point range against the Patriots. The last three wins have come with the Flyers shooting 53.8 percent and 44.9 from long range.

Charles Cooke scored 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting against George Mason despite coming off the bench for the first time this season after violating a team rule, while Dyshawn Pierre added 15 and Kendall Pollard 13.

Dayton improved to 10-0 when both Pierre and Pollard play. In the last three games, Pollard is averaging 16.3 points and shooting 67.9 percent and Pierre 13.3 on 59.3.

"I think we were just clicking on all cylinders tonight," said Scoochie Smith, who chipped in 10 points with eight rebounds. "Everybody shared the ball. I know everybody made the extra pass and everybody was ready to shoot."

Even so, the most impressive aspect lately has been defense. In its last four games Dayton has allowed an average of 48.8 points on 33.3 percent shooting, including 24.5 from beyond the arc.

The Flyers last lost a home conference game on Jan. 29, 2014, going 19-0 since then with wins by an average of 14.1 points. That includes one win over Duquesne, and the Flyers also opened the season series with a 66-58 road victory over the Dukes. Cooke had 21 points but was the only starter to score over seven as Dayton shot 36.5 percent.

It was their fifth win in six meetings, though the Dukes were missing No. 2 scorer Micah Mason. Duquesne shot 32.7 percent and was 2 of 12 from 3-point range without him.

"We had a hard-fought game up there in our conference opener," said Dayton coach Archie Miller, whose team's ranking is its highest since reaching No. 18 in 2009-10. "Micah Mason was not available in that game, and he is a big, big difference maker for them. As I've watched them play over the course of the season, they continue to get better. Their guard tandem is as good as any in the conference.

"We're going to be in for a battle on Tuesday night."

Duquesne (15-8, 5-5) is 5-2 since a four-game losing streak that included the meeting with Dayton but is coming off a 93-82 home loss to Davidson.

The backcourt Miller spoke of - Mason and top scorer Derrick Colter - combined for 43 points in the loss. Colter had 22 and is averaging 21.8 in his last six games, but that didn't matter against the Wildcats with the Dukes conceding 21 offensive rebounds for the second time in four games.

"We got beat on things that we had been beating people on," coach Jim Ferry told the school's official website. "We got beat on 50-50's, we got outrebounded - we gave up 21 offensive rebounds - and gave up 26 foul shots and they made 17. It was a really disappointing effort on our part."

Colter was limited to 14 on 2-of-12 shooting against the Flyers. His two visits to Dayton have been a disaster with nine total points on 3-of-21 shooting.

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