Just under seven minutes remained in yesterday’s round of 32 matchup between the Dayton Flyers and Oklahoma Sooners, and Archie Miller’s sweet tooth looked to be acting up. The Flyers were just minutes away from their second consecutive Sweet 16 appearance but hit an epic dry spell that held UD scoreless for just over nine minutes of play, a stretch of game that saw a seven-point Dayton lead turn into a six-point Flyers deficit.
Scoochie Smith ended that draught with a layup that cut OU’s lead to four with 1:19 to play, a basket followed by a steal and fastbreak that could have cut the lead to two had the Sooners’ Buddy Heild not made the block of his life. From there it was all clock management as Oklahoma hit the free throws and made the plays need to escape Columbus with a 72-66 win and a ticket to Syracuse for this year’s Sweet 16.
Dayton was a hot 11-21 from deep in yesterday’s loss but couldn’t get much going inside the arc. The Flyers hit just 36% of their two-points attempts and were out-rebounded 35-23 in the loss.
The Flyers hit 11 of their 13 free throws in the loss but were outscored by eight at the line, a five-foul disadvantage that did UD no favors in what analysts considered a de facto home game for Archie Miller’s squad.
Dayton’s Scoochie Smith (16 points) and Darrell Davis (15) led the Flyers in scoring and were a combined 10-16 from the field. Dayton got an extra 26 points from Dyshawn Pierre and Kendall Pollard but at a combined field goal clip of 33.3%.
Despite the loss it was an exceptional performance from a seven-man unit that had just played their sixth game over a 10-day span.
The Flyers won a league-best 27 games to just nine losses despite a roster that consisted of just six scholarship players from the beginning of the season.
UD graduates just one player, leading scorer and A-10 First Teamer, Jordan Sibert, but returns a strong core to a team that will be picked among the top in the conference to start next season.
SPIDERS ADVANCE TO NIT QUARTERFINALS
Richmond survived a game Arizona State team in an NIT home win at the Robins Center yesterday to advance to a quarterfinal matchup versus Miami.
The Sun Devils missed what would have been a game-winner in regulation then gave up 16 points in the five-minute overtime as Richmond’s Terry Allen and Kendall Anthony made the big plays late to carry UofR to the win including a four-point play from Anthony with 1:39 to remaining.
ASU had a chance to tie with 10 seconds to play but missed and were forced to foul as Richmond iced the game from the line.
Anthony led all players with a game-high 21 points in the win. Allen added a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double while sophomores TJ Cline and Shandre Jones combined for 34 points and a 63.6% field goal mark while adding a total of seven assists for the Spiders.
Richmond will advance to host Miami at 7PM Tuesday. The Hurricanes are coming off wins against NC Central and Alabama and are the 2-seed in the No.2 Region.
The winner will advance to the NIT Final 4 in Madison Square Garden on March 31
COLONIALS, RAMS BOUNCED FROM NIT
After a road upset win at Pittsburgh George Washington’s season officially ended yesterday at top-seeded Temple in NIT action.
The Colonials hit the shots needed to win but simply couldn’t come up with a defense capable of slowing down the red-hot Owls who shot 50% from the field and added 21 points at the free throw stripe on 24 attempts.
The 90 points GW gave up in the 90-77 loss was the most Mike Lonergan’s squad allowed all season.
Rhode Island’s defense didn’t fair much better in their NIT loss, surrendering 43 second half points in a 74-65 loss at Stanford. That, or the Rams simply didn’t get the calls, depending on your view of the officiating, as Stanford hit an absurd 36 free throws on 49 attempts.
You read that right, 49 free throw attempts.
The Rams were called for an unreal 35 fouls, putting them in near quadruple bonus status in yesterday’s foul-fest loss.
Stanford was called for 14 fewer fouls in the home win, ending Rhode Island’s season in the most frustrating of fashions.