The University of Dayton men’s basketball team fell to the Temple Owls in a late-game heartbreaker on Saturday at UD Arena. The Flyers were defeated 72-71 in front of a crowd of 12,871 Flyer fans.
Four Flyers scored in double figures in Dayton’s loss. The team was led by Kevin Dillard who tallied 16 points along with 5 assists. Vee Sanford contributed 14 points. Devin Oliver notched his fifth double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Senior Josh Benson came off the bench to add 12 points along with three blocks in the game. Dyshawn Pierre delivered once again as he came up just short of a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds.
Temple jumped early, leading 9-2 after Dayton made just one of its first seven shots. An 11-2 Flyer run gave them a 13-11 lead with 9:51 to go in the first half. The Owls responded in a big, pushing the advantage to as much as seven before UD battled back to tie the score 33-33 with five seconds to go before halftime. But Khalif Wyatt, the A-10’s top scorer, made his only field goal of the first half at the buzzer to make the score Temple 36, Dayton 33 at halftime.
Temple scored the first bucket of the second half to take a five-point lead, but an Oliver three-pointer with 17:37 left in the game make it a two-point game. Over the next five minutes and 20 seconds, the game featured four lead changes and three ties, and neither team led by more than two points.
Then the Flyers gained the momentum and pushed their lead out to as much as ten (twice, 66-56 with 5:09 left and 68-58 with 4:31 remaining). Back-to-back threes by Temple’s Scootie Randall and Jake O’Brien cut it to four, and a Randall jumper made it a two-point game (69-67) with 1:49 left. Oliver scored a on a post move in the lane to put UD up 71-67 as the shot clock expired with 1:10 to go.
Temple’s Anthony Lee worked free for a dunk to make it a two-point game with 50 seconds to go. Dayton worked the clock and as Temple aggressively double-teamed a high ball screen, Dillard was called for a traveling. Wyatt came through with a clutch contested three to put Temple up 72-71 with seven seconds to go.
Dayton turned the ball over heading up court, and had to foul. But Temple missed both free throws and UD called a time out to set up a full-court play with 1.3 seconds to go. Lee held Benson as he broke for the ball, so with no time off the clock, Benson was sent to the line for two free throws. His first shot bounced off the back iron, but his second looked good before spinning out, sending Temple home with an improbable hard-fought win.
Dayton drops to 13-10 overall and 3-6 in the Atlantic 10. Temple improves to 16-7 overall and 5-4 in the A-10.
UD travels to Rhode Island as they take on the Rhode Island Rams on Wednesday, February 13 at 7 p.m. ET.