With an 11 seed in the field of 64 on the line the atmosphere in Dayton’s UD arena was that of a heavyweight bout. The contest went back and forth with each team exchanging long scoring runs, but the home team (which was actually the away team) held on for a 56-55 win.
The game was close through the first 15 minutes, then Boise went on a 12-0 run to take a 29-20 lead at the half. At 14:54 in the 2nd half, Dayton’s Scoochie Smith tied the game at 34 after nailing a 3-pointer. But Boise again pulled away to stretch the lead to eight … only to have Dayton rally. Dayton’s Dyshawn Pierre’s made layup at the 2:22 mark brought the Flyers within 3 with the score at 50-53, then Jordan Sibert tied the game at 53 after 2 free throw makes with a minute left in the game. Dayton took a 56-55 lead after Jordan Sibert’s 3-pointer assisted by Scoochie Smith. After Kendrall Pollard missed two foul shots, Dayton dodged a bullet on the ensuing possession after Boise’s Derrick Marks appeared to be fouled on his 3-point attempt. The play resulted in the clock’s expiration and Dayton squeaking by in this one by closing the game out with a 10-2 run.
Dayton’s win tonight was in large part due to a 3-man scoring attack. Smith, Pollard and Sibert of Dayton all scored in double digits, a group effort proving enough to top The Broncos. To be honest this was an ugly game to watch, and that’s putting things nicely. Both teams shot under .477 keeping the scoring low and the misses plentiful. Although resulting in a loss, the only real standout player of the game was Boise’s Derrick Marks who led all scorers with 23 points.
A close game to begin with turned into a double-digit Boise lead late in the 1st half. Dayton’s ability to tie on Smith’s 3-pointer at the 15 minute mark in the second half appeared to swing the momentum the Flyers’ way. The lead bounced back and forth a few times, but the calls and home crowd were ultimately in favor of Dayton.
Strange, But True
So the last time the NCAA Tournament had a team play on its home court, I was two years old and Reagan was in office. The first team to do so in 28 years, the Dayton Flyers played in front of a home crowd of 12,592 tonight against Boise State … even though it was dressed in its road uniforms and listed as the visiting team. Right.
Dayton moves on in the Tournament facing the East region’s 6-seed, Providence. It’s the Flyers vs the Friars on Friday in Columbus. Tip-off is at 8:57 p.m. ET on TRUtv.