Expectations and the road are two of the most difficult things a young team must learn to deal with. UMass has a long way to go before they can overcome the "young" label and develop into more than just an exciting team in the Atlantic 10 after the team's worst performance of the season.
Dayton (18-10, 8-6 A10) held the Minutemen to just 24.5 percent (13-of-53) shooting and rolled all over UMass (19-9, 8-6) in the second half to hand UMass their biggest loss of the season 76-43. After a poor first half for both teams, Dayton shot 53.8 percent in the second half behind five double-digit scorers.
Sophomore point guard Chaz Williams led the Minutemen with 11 points, three assists and two steals but struggled woefully shooting the ball. Williams knocked down just 2-of-12 shots and committed two turnovers before fouling out after 28 minutes of play. Freshmen Maxie Esho was the most efficient UMass player on the day, he just missed out on a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Senior forward Chris Johnson led Dayton with 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Flyers. Johnson knocked down 6-of-11 shots, including matching UMass from behind the arc with 4 made 3-pointers. Leading scorer Kevin Dillard one the battle of the point guard position, finishing with 14 points and seven assists.
The Minutemen played one of their worst first halves of the season but still managed to go into the half trailing by just 10 (28-18). In that half, UMass shot just 26.9 percent from the field but with 20 minutes to play-there was plenty of time to make a comeback, with some stronger shooting.
Unfortunately the deficit and shooting percentages would only get uglier for UMass in the second half. UMass hit just 6-of-27 (22 percent) shot from the field and were dominated in the paint by a 20-6 margin. When the final buzzer finally sounded in Dayton, the Minutemen had just three players (Williams, Esho and Terrell Vinson) who had more than one made basket.
UMass will be back in action on Wednesday when they travel to face Temple, the number one team in the Atlantic 10, at 7 p.m. EDT.