But GBV wasn't the only band to emerge from the Dayton music scene. Funk legends The Ohio Players came out of Dayton in the 70s. The 2000s have brought metalcore acts such as The Devil Wears Prada and Miss May I from nearby Troy, Ohio onto the national scene, as well as punk bands Hawthorne Heights and Dead Poetic. Blessid Union of Souls from nearby Morrow, Ohio had a few hits such as "I Believe" and "Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me) in the late-90s.
One band that came out of Dayton around the same time as Guided By Voices were The Breeders. Led by twin sisters Kim and Kelley Deal, The Breeders had a hit album "Last Splash," which went platinum and contained the song "Cannonball," which reached the Top 10 of the Modern Rock chart.
With Murray State coming to town, I knew immediately what to title this recap. The Racers are led by Isaiah Caanan, who seems like he's been running point for Murray State since "Last Splash" hit the charts in 1994. Caanan is one of the six fantasy players lacing them up in The Game, "playing" for Jen Folds Five.
Coming into the came, it was unsure if Dayton could stop Caanan-ball. Kevin Dillard had to leave Dayton's eventual loss to Illinois State was back spasms, and was a game-time decision for the early noon start. Dillard would give it a go, and wouldn't have an easy game as he was given the assignment of slowing Caanan down.
When you purchase a ticket for a game at UD Arena, you have to be a bit careful where to choose your tickets. Since almost all of the seats in the lower three levels are sold out to season-ticket holders, only seats in the 400 level on the sides are available. Because of the arena design, some things are not visible in all places. The season ticket that Craig Caswell
has in Section 411, Row A, has the main scoreboard partially blocked by the television camera gantry that hangs from the ceiling. My seat for this game in Section 410, Row J, provided a view that only showed the lower half of one of the video boards in the corners.
Up around the top of the arena and in the corners were a decent contingent of Murray State fans that had made the almost six-hour trip from southern Kentucky to Dayton. The Racer fans had to like their chances. Murray State had a 16-game winning streak in true road games dating back to March of 2011. UD Arena hasn't been the fortress it usually is for the Flyers, as Dayton already had home losses to Weber State
and Illinois State.
The first 10 minutes of the game were fairly even, as neither team could get more than a four-point lead. It was tied at 22 when the first jaw-dropping moment of the game happened. Ed Daniel took a pass from Caanan, drove down the lane and rocked rough and stuffed with his afro puff for a omgdunx that brought a loud ooh from the UD Arena crowd. Daniel was everywhere on the floor, being your whatever you want, scoring 17 points and corralling 13 rebounds. At "only" 6-foot-7, Daniel may not get the chance at the NBA that fellow OVC terror Kenneth Faried did. Never mind that Faried is only one inch taller.
Dayton was doing a good job of containing Caanan, but the veteran guard was still managing to put points on the board by drawing fouls. Caanan's first seven points all came from the free-throw line. Soon, Caanan would finally get loose behind the arc. Caanan hit a three to break a 28-28 tie. After another pair of free throws, Canaan unleashed a bomb from the "N" in the bank logo painted on Blackburn Court, around 10 feet behind the arc. A Dexter Fields three on Murray State's next possession would give the Racers their largest lead of the half at 41-34. Dillard would add a pair of free throws to make the halftime score Murray State 41, Dayton 36.
At halftime, I went down to Craig's seat, said hi and ended up watching the rest of the game there, since the three seats around him were all open. The halftime show was the same as the prior year for the game before Christmas. The Lancerettes, a 72-girl dance squad from Alter High School, performed a Christmas-themed routine complete with presents and Santa (Alter and Dayton are both private Catholic schools, no fear of separation of church and state here.)
Vee Sanford, who had 12 first-half points for Dayton, opened the scoring in the second half with a superhoop of his own. Canaan would reveal the one flaw in his game soon after, he apparently can't dunk. After getting a steal, Caanan went the length of the court, but found his hops lacking and got stuffed on the front of the rim. Luckily, Racer teammate Stacy Wilson who was running with him, collected the rebound and laid the ball in to save some of Caanan's embarrassment. Dayton would continue to try to chip away at the Murray State lead and finally tied the game with 9:37 left when Sanford collected a rebound and went coast-to-coast for a dunk of his own.
Dillard was doing a great job of containing Caanan while contributing on offense as well, His layup would give UD a 59-57 lead. That layup was soon cancelled out by another Fields three coming out of a 30-second timeout. Dayton's Khari Price got the lead back for the Flyers with a superhoop of his own and a Jalen Robinson layup extended the UD lead to four, 64-60, with four minutes to play.
Craig wrote earlier this year about so-called turning points and how they are often a fallacy. But one series of events made you wonder if they really exist. Daniel caught a pass in space and went up for another #omgdunx, but powered the ball off the back of the rim instead. Price collected the rebound and found Dillard who was open for three. Dillard swished the three and what could have been a two-point deficit for Murray State now was seven with 3:36 to go.
The Racers would never get closer than five the rest of the way. Sanford and Dillard closed the game out with free throws and Dayton would pick up a much needed victory, 77-68. Caanan was held to five points in the second half because of the gutty effort of Dillard, who also forced Caanan into five turnovers. Sanford led all scorers with 23, while Dillard ended up with 18.