DAYTON, Ohio (AP) DaRon Holmes II scored 25 of his 34 points in the second half, helping No. 21 Dayton rally past St. Bonaventure for a 76-71 victory on Friday night.

Enoch Cheeks added 13 points as Dayton (18-3, 8-1 Atlantic 10) earned its second straight win since a 69-64 loss at Richmond last weekend. Holmes also grabbed seven rebounds and blocked four shots in a terrific all-around performance.

“The game felt like a heavyweight fight,” Flyers coach Anthony Grant said. “I felt like we grew up as a team today.”

St. Bonaventure (13-8, 4-5) tied it at 54 when Assa Essamvous made a 3-pointer with 7:24 left. But Dayton responded with a 9-0 run that included six foul shots by Holmes.

St. Bonaventure's two big men, Chad Venning and Noel Brown, both fouled out trying to keep Holmes in check down the stretch.

A pair of foul shots by Mika Adams-Woods and a 3-pointer by Moses Flowers trimmed Dayton's lead to 72-69 with 21 seconds left. But the Bonnies had to foul Holmes, who made two more free throws.

A 3-point try by Adams-Woods was blocked, and Holmes punctuated the victory with a dunk at the other end.

“Give Dayton credit - they made the plays at the end,” St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt said. “We had a lot of trouble with Holmes, as you can imagine.”

Adams-Woods led the Bonnies with 17 points. Charles Pride had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Dayton got off to another slow start, going 1 for 12 from 3 and shooting 37% from the floor overall in the first half.

Adams-Woods made a 3-pointer and another jumper in the final two minutes to help St. Bonaventure to a 30-28 lead at the break.

“We just have to stay consistent and disciplined, and I thought we did a good job of that today,” said Holmes, whose 34 points tied a career high.

After throwing up clunkers from long range in the first half, Dayton attempted three 3s in the second half, hitting two of them.

“We have one of the best shooting teams in the country, (and) we weren't hitting too many,” Holmes said. “So the next thing is, are we going to die by it or mix it up, go inside? And we did a very good job of establishing that.”


St. Bonaventure: The Bonnies had Dayton down and couldn’t take advantage in the second half. They got hurt inside, with the Flyers scoring 42 points in the paint and going 23 for 29 at the line. The Bonnies finished with 30 points in the paint and went 5 for 8 at the line.

“We lost the game at the foul line," Schmidt said. "We went to the foul line eight times, they went 29 times.”

Dayton: The Flyers nearly let another one slip away. They have won 11 straight at home and hope to run the table at UD Arena for the first time since they were 17-0 here in 2020. The loss to Richmond last Saturday keeps them in second place in the A-10.


St. Bonaventure: Hosts UMass on Wednesday.

Dayton: At St. Joseph’s on Tuesday.


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