PHILADELPHIA (AP) Saint Joseph’s students came pumped to root on their Hawks in a rare home game against a ranked team, and they unleashed a rollout - a homemade banner long a tradition on the Philly hoops scene - that read “There’s Only 1 Flyer in Philly.”

Well, here's another nod to the city's NHL team: Up on Hawk Hill, it was the Dayton Flyers who bullied their way to a win.

Nate Santos and Kobe Elvis each scored 21 points and Javon Bennett added 18 to lead No. 18 Dayton to a 94-79 victory over Saint Joseph’s on Tuesday night.

DeRon Holmes II had 13 points for the Flyers (19-3, 9-1 Atlantic 10), who returned to Philadelphia just two weeks after k nocking off La Salle.

Dayton just might want to play all its games in Philly.

The Flyers shook off a sluggish start - they trailed by four at halftime - with a 27-6 run that opened the second half and sent them to their 16th win in 17 games. Elvis, who finished with 10 assists, began the period with a 3-pointer and Bennett hit two straight 3s for a 43-41 lead.

Elvis was 8 of 13 from the floor with three 3-pointers.

“He did a great job sharing it, did a great job being aggressive, did a great job in terms of understanding defensively the assignment and making it difficult for those guys,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said.

Holmes, a national player of the year candidate, had a muted performance as Elvis, Bennett and Santos went to work in the second half to build a 17-point lead. Holmes helped the Flyers outscore Saint Joseph's 60-41 after the break.

Santos blew a kiss after a 3 made it 81-67.

Cameron Brown led the Hawks (15-8, 5-5) with 19 points.

“We've played a lot of good teams this year,” Saint Joseph's coach Billy Lange said. “They’re as good a team as we've played.”

Saint Joseph’s hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2016, when one win that year was its only one since a run to the Elite Eight in 2004. Yes, it’s been 20 years since Jameer Nelson and Delonte West made Hawk Hill the place to be in college basketball.

Led by former coach Phil Martelli, Saint Joseph’s ripped off 27 straight wins to open the season, earned its first No. 1 ranking in The Associated Press Top 25 men’s college basketball poll, and first No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed in team history. The Hawks had a 30-win season, a trip to the regional final for the first time since 1981, and the first All-America nod (Nelson) in program history.

Martelli lost his job as lean seasons piled up - he’s now an assistant at Michigan - and Lange hasn’t had a winning record in his first four seasons as coach.

The Hawks showed some potential this season, winning the Big 5 Classic title, and they started 9-2.

A win against a ranked team such as Dayton might have put a little oomph in their bid an NCAA at-large bid.

The Philadelphia Eagles sent their cheerleaders, Swoop the mascot, and even defensive end Brandon Graham was on hand to stir a full house in the mood for an upset. Heck, two female students crashed the court at halftime and wiped out a referee. They were promptly removed from the student section.

Dayton showed why it was the preseason favorite to win the A-10 and why it seems poised to take the league title.

“They're one of the best teams in the conference,” Lange said. “I think they just might be, by the metrics.”


Dayton plays Friday at VCU.

Saint Joseph's hosts St. Louis on Saturday.


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