Despite being favored, the Cincinnati Bearcats fell to the Dayton Flyers 82-68 in non-conference play on Saturday night at Heritage Bank Center.
It marked the first meeting between the former conference rivals since 2010 and Dayton picked up a solid win as Cincinnati failed to keep pace.
The Bearcats struggled to convert opportunities in the paint, shooting just 36.9 percent from the field, and Dayton was able to take advantage.
Wes Miller’s team was hoping to secure a quality victory before Dayton proved to be a much more complete team on both ends of the floor today.
Cincinnati Basketball: Bearcats fail to keep pace against Dayton
Bearcats guard Simas Lukosius led the team with 14 points off the bench, and point guard DaVeon Thomas scored 12 points in the loss.
Dayton used a pair of 7-0 runs during the second half to create separation and then eventually pull away from Cincinnati for a double digit triumph.
If the Bearcats aren’t able to hang with Dayton and Xavier then it’s likely going to be a difficult path to finding wins throughout Big 12 play.
The Flyers were fueled by star DaRon Holmes II, who totaled a season-high 28 points and seven rebounds in a dominant performance tonight.
Cincinnati Basketball: Wes Miller breaks down loss against Dayton
Both teams traded baskets in the first half but Dayton surged ahead to take a 35-29 lead into the locker room and never looked back again.
Cincinnati is set to return to the court against Merrimack and Stetson in the coming days as non-conference play wraps up this month.
During the postgame press conference, Miller broke down the Bearcats disappointing loss to Dayton and discussed what needs to change.
“I’m really pissed off. We have a long way to go, a lot of work to do and things to figure out with this team but tonight was really unacceptable."