ANALYSIS: 3 takeaways from Dayton's victory against George Washington

Jan. 31—Koby Brea turned his back to the basket and started celebrating his fifth made 3-pointer Tuesday before the ball swished through the net on Tom Blackburn Court.

"Swagger," teammate DaRon Holmes II said simply after the game.

Obi Toppin made a similar move four years ago against Kansas in the Maui Invitational. Brea has reached the same level with his confidence. He expects it to go in every time. Everyone watching expects the same. When his teammates call him the best shooter in the nation, it's not hyperbole. He leads the country in 3-point accuracy (58 of 119, 48.7%).

"He's impressive," George Washington coach Chris Caputo said. "His shot is very, very clean. It looks the same every single time. He shoots it from deep. He's shooting it off the dribble some now. The guy is as good of a shooter as there is."

Brea made 5 of 9 3-pointers as No. 21 Dayton (17-3, 7-1) beat George Washington 83-61 at UD Arena, bouncing back from a 69-64 loss at Richmond on Saturday. Here are three takeaways from Dayton's 20th game, 10th straight victory at home this season and 10th straight home victory against GW in the series:

1. DaRon Holmes II rebounded from a sub-par performance: Holmes did not make a two-point shot for the first time in his college career Saturday and attempted only three shots inside the paint while making 2 of 9 3-pointers. He went the other way in this game, making 9 of 13 two-point attempts without attempting a 3-pointer.

Holmes scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Earlier in the day, he was one of 20 players named to the late-season watch list for the John R. Wooden Award, one of the national player of the year honors.

"It wasn't that I wasn't trying to shoot any 3s," Holmes said. "It was just that I know that me going inside helps all my teammates a lot. Whether it's me scoring or creating for them, that's what our team needs. So that's a big part of my game. I can't forget that part. I was trying to make sure I locked in for this game. Going forward, the 3-ball is still a part of my game, but the biggest part is me being able to help my team inside."

2. Dayton's defense shut down George Washington's best player: Guard James Bishop IV, averaging 17.9 points entering the game, scored 10 points on 2-of-12 shooting. He missed all six of his 3-point attempts. Last season, George Washington beat Dayton 76-69 in Washington, D.C., thanks in part to 27 points by Bishop.

Dayton held George Washington to 32.3% shooting (21 of 65) from the field and 17.2% shooting (5 of 29) from 3-point range. George Washington's effective field-goal percentage (36.1%) was its worst of the season.

The Revolutionaries (14-7, 3-5) lost their fourth straight game, scoring a season-low 61 points.

:"I thought that was really the whole key," Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. "A lot of times, you get caught up in records and things like that. That's a very dangerous basketball team, I'm just telling you. Bishop is one of the elite guards with the way he can score and not only create for himself but for everybody else. The freshman (Darren Buchanan Jr.), he's probably the leading candidate for freshman of the year."

Buchanan led George Washington with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting.

3. Dayton's offense got back on track: The Flyers made 12 of 24 3-pointers. They have made exactly 50% of their 3-point attempts in four games this season. Their season percentage stands at 40%, which ranks seventh in the country.

In the previous game, Dayton made 10 of 33 (30.3%). This was the second straight home game it has topped 50%. It made 17 of 32 (53.1%) in a 96-62 victory against Rhode Island.

In addition to Brea's big night, Nate Santos made 3 of 4, all in the first half, and scored 17 points. Javon Bennett, Enoch Cheeks, Petras Padegimas and Brady Uhl each made one.

"I'm really impressed with Dayton's team," Caputo said. "We played them last year at our place and beat them, and I think they've really put a lot of team speed around DaRon. That also includes shooting. They were a lot bigger last year positionally but didn't have the type of speed that they now have defensively on the perimeter. That makes it really, really tough. Then they didn't lose anything in the shooting department."


Holmes improved his season averages to 19.4 points and 7.9 rebounds. He continues to climb Dayton's all-time scoring list. He has 1,460 points. He passed Mark Ashman (1,449) on Tuesday to move into 23rd place. He's seven points behind Chris Johnson.


Dayton had eight turnovers. It has committed eight or fewer turnovers four times in the last five games.


Dayton plays St. Bonaventure at 7 p.m. Friday at UD Arena. The Bonnies beat Virginia Commonwealth 67-62 at St. Bonaventure on Tuesday, ending VCU's five-game winning streak. The Rams (13-8, 5-3) fell to fourth place.

Loyola Chicago (14-7, 6-2) beat Saint Louis 77-62 on Tuesday in Chicago. Richmond (15-5, 7-0), Dayton (17-3, 7-1) and Loyola are the only A-10 teams with two or fewer losses.