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Posts Tagged ‘Dayton Flyers.’

North Carolina making most of NIT opportunity, advances to title game

compiled by megasportsnews.com staff

During the months of March and April, the University of North Carolina men’s basketball team is used to to playing in the NCAA tournament. This year the NIT had to do. But basketball madness is still alive in any tournament even if its not the one you’re used to being in or want to be in.

Injuries, inconsistent play and inexperience combined to doom the Tar Heels’ season early on and they never recovered until the NCAA tournament had passed them by.

Roy Williams Tar Heels coach (UNC)

Then they were selected to play in the NIT, which to some people is known as “the also-rans” tournament. But North Carolina seized the opportunity and went on the road to defeat Mississippi State and Alabama-Birmingham before defeating Rhode Island last night at Madison Square Garden in the semifinals, 68-67 in overtime.

Rhode Island was no “also-ran” team because they had the best RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) of any program that failed to make the NCAA tournament.

Deon Thompson had 16 points and 13 rebounds for North Carolina, which had possession with about 5 seconds left in overtime and the shot clock about to expire when Larry Drew II forced up a shot. The rebound eventually wound up in the hands of Rhode Island’s Lamonte Ulmer, who lost control as he rushed up court moments before the horn sounded, never getting off a shot. Most everybody thought a foul would be called for tripping but it wasn’t.

North Carolina will play the Dayton Flyers for NIT title on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

“Lightning quick” Dayton Flyers upset Illinois to head to NIT Final Four in New York

Courtesy of Dayton Athletic Communications

Coach Brian Gregory leads Dayton to NIT Final Four (UD)

For the second straight game, The Dayton Flyers donned their black uniforms and it unveiled more Black Magic, this time on the Illinois Fighting Illini.

The Flyers put together a gritty and gutsy performance while dominating the Orange and White on their home court in Champaign, Illinois, 77-71. The win advanced Dayton to the NIT Semifinals for the first time since 1968. The Flyers have always done well historically in this tournament.

Columbus, Ohio native, Chris Johnson led the Flyers attack with 18 points and six rebounds while Marcus Johnson added 11 points and eight rebounds while Chris Wright contributed 10 points and 7 rebounds as UD won its third straight game and fourth in the last five.

Dayton will head to New York City to play the Ole Miss Rebels on Tuesday, March 30 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time in Madison Square Garden.

The Flyers not only defeated a Big Ten team for the first time since 2001-02 season, but also improved to 9-4 against Bowl Championship Series (BCS) schools in the previous four seasons.

Marcus Johnson dunks over Illinois (UD)

Dayton came out with another efficient effort on the offensive end and a smothering defense throughout the game. The Flyers shot 48 percent from the floor for the the second consecutive game and went 8-of-18 from 3-point range.

Although the athletic Flyers were outrebounded by Illinois, they limited the Illini to 6-of-23 shooting from three-point land and 37 percent from the field.

Midway through the first half, Dayton started to separate themselves with an early run. UD led 29-11 after two 3-point goals from Luke Fabrizius. During the game’s opening 12 minutes, Dayton shot 71 percent from beyond the arc.

The Flyers led 38-25 at the half after dominating on the glass and shooting well from the outside. The Flyers shot 50 percent from the field and three-point range in the first half and held a 23-13 advantage on the glass. It marked the 10th time this season the Flyers held an opposing team to 25 points or less in the first half.

After controlling the tempo for a majority of the game, the Flyers let Illinois cut into the lead. It was 72-66 with 41 seconds left. However, the Flyers’ Marcus Johnson, Chris Johnson and Paul Williams sank 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to secure the win and move their record to 23-12.

Says Dayton Head coach Brian Gregory, “Our seniors did a good job of sticking with it and hanging tough and we needed that. We played with great energy and intensity today and I thought that was the difference in the game.  I’m really pleased with the opportunity to go to New York. The University of Dayton has had tremendous success playing in the NIT and I know our guys set the goal two weeks ago to get back to New York.”

Dayton Flyers knock the ‘monkey off their backs’, winning in Cincinnati

compiled from staff and wire reports

Marcus Johnson led the Dayton Flyers balanced scoring attack with 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field and made 6-of-7 from the free throw line, fueling an 81-66 victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Queen City.

Rob Lowery scored 13 points followed by Chris Wright and Paul Williams with 11 each as Dayton pushed their record to 22-12 while advancing in the National Invitational Tournament.

The Flyers will play in the NIT quarterfinals in Champaign, Illinois against the Fighting Illini. The quarterfinal matchup will take place on Wednesday March 24 at 9 p.m. Eastern Time and will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

Rob Lowery Dayton (UD)

Dayton came out of the locker room with a different twist Monday night. Wearing black uniforms for the first time this season, the Flyers played solid on both ends of the court. UD held the Bearcats to 33 percent shooting from the field which included 6-of 31 three-pointers. Meanwhile, the visiting Flyers shot 48 percent from the floor and connected on 10 field goals from 3-point land.

Cincinnati is usually a good rebounding team, but Dayton held a 42-34 advantage on the glass including 12 offensive rebounds. The key stat of the game was for UD was scoring 18 second chance points.

A key stretch for Dayton in the second half came when the Flyers held the Bearcats without a field goal for just over six minutes. During that span, the Flyers put the game away; a Paul Williams three-pointer, a Devin Searcy dunk and Marcus Johnson and Luke Fabrizius each scoring on mid-range jumpers to put the Flyers ahead again by double figures 63-53 with 6:24 to play.

Paul Williams Dayton (UD)

In the first half, Dayton took advantage of some hot shooting and Cincinnati’s foul trouble. Dayton led 41-36 and opened the game hitting eight of their first 12 shots from 3-point range. The Flyers finished with nine 3-pointers, a first half season-high. At one point, Dayton led 38-23, but Cincinnati went on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to six.

Seniors London Warren and Kurt Huelsman both set the all-time record for career-games played in a Flyers uniform with 134.

Dayton ends losing streak by hammering UMass, 96-68

The Dayton Flyers came into Saturday night’s game with UMass trying put a halt on two losing streaks. First, was a current 2-game streak losing at Duquesne and Temple last week. Second, was a 4-game skid to the Minutemen dating back to 2005.

In order to accomplish both of those goals, the Flyers would have to slow down UMass, stop high-scoring guard Ricky Harris, the Atlantic 10′s second leading scorer at 19.3 ppg and outrebound the number 1 team in the conference in rebounding. They accomplished all three of those goals: holding UMass to only 68 points; shutting down Ricky Harris, only 9 points on 3 0f 15 shooting and outrebounding the visitors, 44-30, 14 of them on the offensive glass.

A sellout crowd of 13, 435 cheered the Flyers on to a 96-68 victory and win number 19 of the season. Those 96 points are the most scored at Dayton in Brian Gregory’s tenure as head coach.

Backup point guard Mickey Perry led 6 Dayton players in double figures with five, 3-point baskets. Chris Wright had 14, Rob Lowery with 13, Marcus Johnson and Chris Johnson scored 11 each and Devin Searcy put in 10.

Dayton led at the half, 43-31. But the early part of the second half, it looked as if Dayton and its bench depth was going to run away with the game. The Flyers came and pushed the tempo and upped the lead to 19, 54-35. However the game was not over.

The referees started to call ever close bump and anything close to it. UMass went on a 15-4 run to cut the lead down to 58-50 and with 12:40 to go in the game, they had Dayton in team foul trouble with 10 fouls to 2.

After a media timeout at the 11:25 mark, the Flyers and Mickey Perry went to work to put the game away. Perry hit four, 3-point goals to fuel a 28-10 run which made the score 86-60. During that run, Dayton pushed the ball up the floor, took good shots, most of the time they weren’t guarded and they played defense and rebounded the ball.

Dayton shot the ball well all night, 57% in the first half, 52.9% in the second half and 54.8% for the game. Dayton out scored UMass in the hustle stats: 34-24 in the paint, 28-9 on the fast break and 48-22 in bench scoring.

Massachusetts now has its own losing streak to deal with as they’ve dropped three in a row and are now 10-18, 4-10 in the Atlantic 10.

Its hard to believe this is the same UMass team that has had some great players like Julius Erving, Marcus Camby, Lorenzo Sutton, Lou Roe, Edgar Padilla, Carmelo Traviaso and Monty Mack. Not to mention top-notch coaches like Jack Leaman and John Calipari. This team even beat Memphis 73-72 back on December 19.

Mickey Perry (UD)

The Minutemen were led by Terrell Vinson with 16 points followed by 12 from Freddie Riley and 10 each for Anthony Gurley and Sampson Carter.

The series is now tied at 8-8.

SOUNDS OF THE GAME

44 355 Brian Gregory Dayton Coach comments on win number 19….44 356 Brian Gregory Dayton Coach His team solid job on rebounding and defense….44 357 Brian Gregory Dayton Coach His team kept Ricky Harris from scoring….44 362 Brian Gregory Dayton Coach His team playing before former UD players.

GAME NOTES

* Dayton Junior Chris Wright became the 42nd player to score 1,000 points in his Flyer career after scoring 15 at Duquesne. Wright was honored before the game and given the ball from that game.

*With this being the 40th anniversary of the University of Dayton Arena, the school brought back some of its former players: George Jackson, Allen Elijah, Norm Grevey, J.D. Grigsby, Nolan Robinson, Donnie May, Mike Kanieski, Roosevelt Chapman, Pat Murnen, et al.

*Dayton Senior Kurt Huelsman’s 128 consecutive starts is a Dayton record and is tied for the sixth-longest active streak in Division I. In less than four seasons, the Flyers have won 88 games he has started.

* Kurt Huelsman and London Warren hold the UD record for consecutive games played with 128.

* Saturday’s game was played on February 27 and on that date in 1971, “Dr. J” Julius Erving scores 35 points and adds 17 rebounds in UMass’ first-ever meeting with George Washington, a 70-65 win at Madison Square Garden.

* On February 27, 1979, UMass legendary coach Jack Leaman coaches what proves to be his final game, a 78-73 overtime loss to Villanova.

* On February 27, 1988, Lorenzo Sutton plays a total of 54 minutes in a 119-114 UMass three overtime loss to Rutgers. He set the record for minutes played in a single game and for three-point field goal attempts (17). He also tied for second all-time for points in a game with 39 (also his career high).

Dayton’s bench, 19-0 run too much for undermanned La Salle

Dayton's Chris Wright skies over La Salle (UD)

By Stuart Mason

MSN Beat Reporter

Dayton, O.- When your average basketball fan saw that La Salle, 11-13 was playing the Dayton Flyers, 17-7 on Thursday evening, in the always tough University of Dayton Arena, they probably thought, the Flyers in a rout. You probably would agree with them considering Dayton was leading the series, 21-13; and 12-2 at the arena and most of all, La Salle was missing three of their top scorers from the starting lineup. Kimmani Barrett (13.3 ppg), Ruben Guillandreaux (9.5 ppg) and Yves Mekongo (11.1 ppg) who have combined for 2,839 career points and are seniors.

The game turned out to be anything but a rout. The Flyers would eventually win the game, 68-54 but it took every ounce of energy and all of the players in their 10-man rotation to beat the Explorers. La Salle playing with five starters and three reserves, led the Flyers 5-0 before you could blink an eye. Then the Flyers regrouped to lead 32-25 at the half.

In the second half, Dayton opened a 37-29 lead before La Salle  caught them at 45-45 as a Chris Johnson turnover was converted into a layup with 10:49 left in regulation. The two teams traded baskets and were still tied at 49-49 at the media timeout with 7:58 left to go. The fans at UD Arena were nervous and wondering what happened to the team that routed Xavier and took St. Louis into double overtime last week.

After the media timeout, Dayton kicked it into another gear called a 19-0 run. Marcus Johnson scored on a layup; Mickey Perry scored on a 3-point goal and Marcus Johnson scored on a jump shot, that made the score 56-49 with LaSalle calling a timeout with 5:42 remaining.

The Flyers kept the throttle down and La Salle was starting to feel fatigued. Devin Searcy scored on a layup to make it 58-49 and Explorers head coach Dr. John Giannini, seeing the game slipping away, called his second timeout in a span of thirty-three seconds and 5:09 to go. The Flyers run didn’t stop until the score reached 68-49 at the 2:02 mark and the game was over to the delight of the announced crowd of 12,664.

The Flyers outplayed the Explorers in several key stats: Field Goal pct. 47.4 %, 50% in the second half; bench points 42-15; steals 11-5. The Dayton defense caused La Salle to turn the ball over 21 times which led to 19 points.

The La Salle showed why they are one of the top rebounding teams in the Atlantic 10 conference winning that battle 44-34, 19 were on the offensive boards. Steve Weingarten had 12 and Jerrell Williams pulled down 11. Rodney Green was the only Explorer to reach double figures in scoring with 16.

Dayton was led by sixth man Marcus Johnson with 16 points and NBA prospect Chris Wright had 12. The Flyers move to 18-7, 7-4 in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

SOUNDS OF THE GAME44 290 Mickey Perry Dayton Guard Did the Flyers feel sluggish in the play44 292 Mickey Perry Dayton Guard Dayton and its bench would wear LaSalle down44 293 Mickey Perry Dayton Guard The keys to the 19-0 run to end the game44 297 Chris Wright Dayton Forward Any NCAA talk for 18-7 Dayton

GAME NOTEBOOK

La Salle head coach Dr. John Giannini in his sixth season at the Philadelphia school, is one of three men’s basketball coaches with doctorates, joining Lehigh’s Brett Reed and Valparaiso’s Homer Drew. Giannini’s doctorate is in kinesiology with a specialization is sports psychology. Coach Reed’s is in instructional technology and Coach Drew earned his in educational administration.

According to kenpom.com, La Salle boasts the third tallest team in the country with an average height of 6’7. Florida State is 6’7.2 is first followed by North Carolina at 6’7.1.

La Salle has three 1,000-point scorers on the roster. Rodney Green has scored 1,803 points, Kimmani Brown has 1,057 career points, followed by Yves Mekongo 1,006. The Class of 1980 (Michael Brooks, Kurt Kanaskie and Mo Connolly) also had three 1,000-point scorers.

William “Speedy” Morris, La Salle’s winningest coach with 238 victories was inducted into the LaSalle Hall of Athlete on January 23 and the Philadelphia Big 5 Hall of Fame on January 29. He entered the Big 5 all with fellow coaches John Chaney (Temple) and Rollie Massimino (Villanova).

The 1989-90 La Salle University men’s basketball team, which won a school record 30 games, was honored recently. The Explorers went 30-2 that season, including a perfect 16-0 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Association (MAAC). Led by National Player of the Year Lionel Simmons and future NBA players Doug Overton and Randy Woods, La Salle won 22 straight games before losing to Clemson, 79-75, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Dayton Flyers has four Top-50 RPI victories this season, Georgia Tech, Xavier, Old Dominion and Charlotte.

The Flyers have the 31st toughest strength of schedule in the NCAA.

Dayton is 12-0 this season when holding opponents to less than 60 points.

Dayton’s seven losses are by a total of 25 points. UD’s three non-conference losses are all by single-digit  margins to #3 Villanova, #11 Kansas State and #19 New Mexico. The Flyers’ four league losses are by a total of nine points. Each loss was a one-possession game in the final minute.

The Flyers celebrated their 500th win at UD Arena earlier this season. The Arena opened in 1969. UD Arena is one of just 27 active facilities to have hosted at least 500 wins for its home team, and only one of two built in 1969. The  others are Cameron Indoor Stadium, The Palestra, Pauley Pavilion, Freedom Hall, Allen Fieldhouse, The Pit at the University of New Mexico and Hinkle Fieldhouse. Only four facilities, Pauley Pavilion, The Pit, Freedom Hall and the Huntsman Center, had 500 wins faster than UD Arena.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has announced preliminary round sites for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championships, and the tournament is returning to the University of Dayton Arena in each of those years. The NCAA First and Second Rounds will come back to Dayton in 2013. Additionally, the NCAA Opening Round Game.

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