Miller credits Billikens for slowing Flyers

Shooting hadn’t really been an issue in Dayton’s recent woes until the Flyers’ game at Saint Louis on Feb. 4.

There the Flyers struggled big time, making only 14 of 57 field-goal attempts in losing 58-50. That figures out to a mere 24.6 percent, more than 20 percentage points below their season average for the first three months of the season.

“Saint Louis is very difficult to score on,” coach Archie Miller said. “Their defensive numbers are what they are for a reason. They’re very well-schooled.

“They do a great job taking away some of the strengths. The second go-around with us they played us a little differently. Also, I thought we couldn’t make a shot either.”

The shooting problems were magnified by the struggles of both of Dayton’s “2” guards. Paul Williams made only one of two shots. Josh Parker missed all six of his attempts.

“Those two combined are about 8-for-54 in their last four games,” Miller said. “We’re not getting any outside shooting production, and Saint Louis does a great job taking away most of what you’re going to get normally.”

But that wasn’t the only issue against the Billikens.

“I thought the most disappointing thing in our Saint Louis game predominantly was our play in the paint,” Miller said. “We just could not finish anything in around the basket.

“Give them credit, but we missed probably five, six, seven chippies that need to go in to have a chance.”

“Obviously, it was our worst offensive performance of the year, but Saint Louis had a lot to do with it.”

NOTES, QUOTES 

–Senior F Chris Johnson bounced back after recording subpar numbers (seven points, four rebounds) against Duquesne to lead Dayton in scoring with 16 points at Saint Louis. He also had seven rebounds, giving him 31 in the four-game span that started with the loss at Saint Joseph’s and included the losses at home to Rhode Island and Duquesne.

–With the loss at Saint Louis on Feb. 4, Dayton’s losing streak reached four games, its longest skid since a seven-game streak in 2005-06.

–Dayton has not won at Saint Louis since Jan. 12, 2008, when the Billikens played their home games at the Scottrade Center.

BY THE NUMBERS: 40.0 percent — The Flyers held the Billikens to just 40 percent shooting from the field (18-for-45), ending a stretch of three games in which Dayton had allowed its opponents to shoot better than 50 percent from the field.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “This isn’t a week to reflect on anything. This is a week to address some things we need to address.” — Coach Archie Miller, whose Flyers will have a week between games when they go to Fordham.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

THIS WEEK’S GAMES

–at Fordham, Feb. 11

KEY MATCHUPS: Fordham can be a dangerous team at home. The Rams have a double-double threat in F Chris Gaston, and G Branden Frazier has been giving them some solid efforts in the backcourt as well.

FUTURES MARKET: Coach Archie Miller tinkered with the lineup in Dayton’s two losses to Duquesne and Saint Louis. After starting Josh Parker at the shooting guard spot against the Dukes, he went back to Paul Williams against the Billikens. Williams was only 1-for-8 for the field in scoring seven points against Saint Louis, and Parker was scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting.

PLAYER NOTES

–Sophomore F Ralph Hill had six rebounds in just 12 minutes in the loss at Saint Louis, giving him 17 over a four-game stretch that began when he had seven against Saint Joseph’s on Jan. 25. He didn’t have any in the next game against Rhode Island, then had four rebounds against Duquesne.

–Junior G Kevin Dillard turned his ankle at Saint Louis, but the injury was not expected to be a factor with the Flyers having a week between games before going to Fordham. He scored 11 points against the Billikens to reach double figures for a fifth straight game, but he was only 2-for-10 from the field and handed out only two assists, his fewest since he had only one against Fairfield back on Nov. 25.

–Senior F Luke Fabrizius had a season-high nine rebounds in the loss at Saint Louis.