Cun­ning­ham ‘brings mo­tor’ in win

Day­ton se­nior on re­cent strug­gles: ’I’m over it now.’

Dayton Daily News - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL - By David Jablon­ski Staff Writer Con­tact this re­porter at 937-244-7400 or email David.Jablon­[email protected]­

Fans of the KINGSTON, R.I. —

Day­ton Fly­ers spec­u­lated in re­cent weeks about the sta­tus of Josh Cun­ning­ham.

Was he just in a slump, or was there some­thing else ex­plain­ing his of­fen­sive num­bers? He scored three points in back-to-back games against Saint Joseph’s and Duquesne and still didn’t look like his old self even though he scored 12 points in the loss Tues­day at Saint Louis.

Cun­ning­ham looked much bet­ter Satur­day with 13 points on 6-of-8 shoot­ing in Day­ton’s 77-48 vic­tory against Rhode Is­land at the Ryan Cen­ter and as­sured ev­ery­one he’s fine.

“I’m 100 per­cent healthy,” Cun­ning­ham said. “I don’t know what they’re talk­ing about. I’m per­fectly fine.”

Cun­ning­ham has not topped 15 points since he had 25 in back-to-back games against Ge­or­gia South­ern and Rich­mond on Dec. 29 and Jan. 6, and while his lat­est per­for­mance wasn’t as dom­i­nant as his 32-point game against Rhode Is­land at UD Arena a year ago, he seemed con­fi­dent bet­ter days are ahead.

“I sat down and talked to some coaches (af­ter the Saint Louis loss), and they told me some things,” Cun­ning­ham said, “and I feel I re­ally took in what they told me. Just got out there and give it my all.”

Cun­ning­ham was asked if he felt worn down in the Saint Louis game.

“I didn’t feel worn down,” he said. “It was just men­tal things. I’m over it now.”

Day­ton coach An­thony Grant said Cun­ning­ham “brought his mo­tor” and did a great job on de­fense.

“The first play, there was a 50-50 re­bound there that he was able to come down with,” Grant said. “He made some phys­i­cal plays on both ends of the court to­day, and you heard his voice out there, and that’s the Josh we need ev­ery sin­gle day be­cause of the im­pact he can have on our team when he brings that type of ef­fort and en­ergy.”

Around the A-10: David­son (17-6, 8-2) fell into a first­place tie with Vir­ginia Com­mon­wealth (17-6, 8-2) by los­ing 54-51 at last-place Mas­sachusetts on Satur­day. Keon Cler­geot hit a tie-break­ing 3-pointer with five sec­onds left.

This was a sur­pris­ing score be­cause UMass (9-15, 2-9) lost its pre­vi­ous game 85-67 at home to Ford­ham.

Look­ing ahead: Day­ton gets a week break be­fore its next game at 4 p.m. Satur­day against Vir­ginia Com­mon­wealth at UD Arena. VCU won the first matchup 76-71 on Jan. 16 in Rich­mond, Va., and has won three straight games in the series.

The Rams routed St. Bon­aven­ture 85-55 on Satur­day in Olean, N.Y. They have won four games in a row.


Day­ton’s Josh Cun­ning­ham takes a charge against Rhode Is­land’s Tyrese Martin on Satur­day at the Ryan Cen­ter in Kingston, R.I.

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