Jan. 21—Archie Miller and his wife Morgan were the first people from Rhode Island's traveling party to step off the bus at the west entrance to UD Arena on Saturday. The bus was appropriately a Miller Bus from Miller Transportation, but it wasn't driven by Marty the Bus Driver.
Ten years ago, when Miller coached the Dayton Flyers, Marty Flickner, a bus driver from Geneseo, N.Y., turned into a good-luck charm during UD's Elite Eight run when he drove the bus that carried the team around Buffalo and Memphis. He resumed his duties the following season when UD traveled to a game at St. Bonaventure.
Rhode Island needed Marty's magic in Miller's return to UD Arena. The No. 21 Flyers wrote another chapter in what is becoming an unforgettable season with a 96-62 victory, their 12th in a row since a 69-55 loss to Houston on Nov. 19 in the Charleston Classic championship game.
"There wasn't a single thing not to love about the game in Dayton today," wrote Dan Sullivan, the former host of the Talking Out Lowd podcast on X (Twitter). "Flyers handled business like grown men."
The victory gave Dayton a 15-2 record for the third time this century. The 2019-20 Flyers finished 29-2 and won their final 20 games. The 2008-09 Flyers started 21-2 and finished 27-8.
Dayton also stayed on top of the Atlantic 10 Conference with Richmond (13-5), which extended its winning streak to eight games with a 69-64 victory at Davidson in overtime Saturday. The Flyers and Spiders are 5-0 in the A-10.
Loyola Chicago (13-6, 5-1) won 65-51 at Fordham on Saturday and remains a half game back of Dayton and Richmond. Every other team has as at least two losses.
Dayton climbed five spots to a season-best No. 15 in the NCAA Evaluation Tool. It's the highest ranked team outside the Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, SEC, Pac 12 and Big East. The next highest-ranked A-10 team is No. 73 Richmond. In the Ken Pomeroy ratings, the Flyers rose from No. 32 to a season-best No. 26.
Dayton and Richmond play at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Robins Center in Richmond, Va. First, the Flyers have another road game against No. 217 La Salle (10-8, 1-4) at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Tom Gola Arena in Philadelphia.
Dayton had not been playing its best basketball entering the game against Rhode Island even though it had been winning. Its performance Saturday was its best since back-to-back dominant performances against Cincinnati and Oakland in December.
With only two turnovers, 24 assists on 34 made field goals and an effective field-goal percentage of 69.5, a season best, the Flyers recorded their most efficient offensive game of the KenPom.com era. The website stats date to 1999. The second most efficient performance also took place this season in a 91-67 victory against Oakland on Dec. 20.
Three players had offensive ratings over 200: Javon Bennett, who scored 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting; Koby Brea who made 5 of 7 3-pointers and scored 15 points; and Isaac Jack, who made all four of his field-goal attempts and had eight points.
Dayton's leading scorer on the season, DaRon Holmes II, scored 22 points despite resting the last 14 minutes. He has topped 20 points in three straight games
"We came in locked in today," Holmes said. "Everybody was ready to play."
Dayton at La Salle, 6:30 p.m., ESPN+, 1290, 95.7