DAYTON, Ohio - The University of Dayton men's basketball team bounced back from a tough week and snapped a two-game losing streak, taking the Saint Joseph's Hawks 60-54 in front of 12,453 Flyer Faithful Wednesday night at UD Arena.
The Flyers were led by senior guard Kevin Dillard who tallied 23 points and three assists. The UD point guard scored 18 of his points in the second half. After SJU took its largest lead (43-36 with 12:11 left in the game), Dillard scored 14 points and had all three of his assists.
Dillard scored Dayton's last nine points of the game on a three-pointer that gave the Flyers the lead for good (54-52 with 2:19 to go), a jumper that extended it (56-52 with 1:24 left) and four free throws that iced the win in the final 27 seconds. On the season, Dillard is 30-for-30 from the line in the game's last two minutes, and 53-of-58 in his two-year Dayton career.
Dyshawn Pierre also contributed ten points along with seven rebounds. Two of his points came from his knees, as he gathered up a loose ball after being knocked to the floor in the lane for an offensive rebound and made the basket from a kneeling position. Devin Oliver just missed a double-double as he notched eight points and twelve rebounds. Pierre and Oliver also matched Dillard for team honors in assists with three each.
In the first half, neither team could grab the upper hand. The Flyers held the largest lead at 18-13 midway through the first half. Overall, there were eight lead changes during the course of the first half. Dayton entered the locker room at halftime down 27-26.
St. Joe's came out of halftime with a chip on its shoulder as senior guard Carl Jones scored seven of the Hawks' 12 points in the first five minutes of the second half for St. Joe's to give the Hawks some breathing room. SJU pushed out to its largest lead of the game (seven points) before Dillard put the Flyers on his back. Dayton's largest lead of the contest was the final six-point margin.
UD improved to 13-9 overall, and 3-5 in the Atlantic 10. Saint Joseph's is now 13-8, and 4-4.
Dayton continues conference play on Saturday as the Flyers host the Temple Owls at 11 a.m. ET at UD Arena. The game will be is nationally-televised on ESPNU.
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