The Bucs held a lead of as many as nine points midway through the second half, but 14 first half fouls by ETSU helped Dayton stay close early on and the Flyers 43-31 advantage on the boards - particularly a 17-10 edge on the offensive glass - were too much for the Bucs to overcome.
"This is an extremely tough place to come play and they don't lose many on this floor," said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow, whose team played in front of a menacing sellout crowd of 12,115. "Overall, we did a lot of good things and really had a chance to win, but we knew going in this early season schedule would be tough. Giving up 17 offensive boards didn't help, obviously. We'll just go back and get to work. It's just one game and we are stressing the big picture to our guys."
In the first half, the Bucs rode Pigram's hot shooting to a lead of as many as nine points with 10 minutes left before the break, as the junior guard scored 20 first-half points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field and a 3-of-4 clip from beyond the line.
As a team, ETSU would hit on 50 percent of its shots from the field and an impressive 47 percent from beyond the 3-point line in the first 20 minutes, helping to give them the advantage throughout the first half. However, the Flyers managed to stay right with the Bucs thanks to ETSU's 14 team fouls and an 11-of-17 clip from the foul line, as the Bucs held a 41-40 advantage at the break.
In the second half, both teams traded the lead throughout, with
After a couple of foul shots by the Roberts, junior transfer Jocolby Davis (Meridian, Miss.) hit a lay up to make it 76-74, but with two seconds left
While no other ETSU player reached double figures on the night, Roberts was joined by teammates Wright and Marcus Johnson, who scored 22 and 11 points, respectively. As a team, the Bucs hit on 45 percent of their shots, including a 41 percent clip from 3-point range. However, the Flyers matched those numbers with 47 percent from the floor and 46 percent from outside the arc.
An encouraging statistic for the Bucs was just 12 turnovers on the night.
ETSU will return to action Tuesday night with an exhibition contest against