DAYTON – The University of Dayton men’s basketball team beat the Virginia Tech Hokies with a final score of 62-57 at UD Arena on Sunday. The win puts the Flyers at 7-4 this season, while the Hokies drop to 7-3 with the loss.
R.J. Blakney led the way for Dayton with a career-high of 19 points to pair with six rebounds. With his 19, Blakney scored more than any Flyers in a contest this season. With the win, Dayton improves to 3-0 against Power 5 teams this season.
1st Half: Dayton 29, Virginia Tech 22
· At the first media timeout, the score remained 0-0 at the 15:56 mark as the Flyers forced three turnovers.
· Tech opened the scoring at the 15:31 mark, but freshman point guard Malachi Smith started the scoring for Dayton, hitting a corner three at 14:13 off the dish from Elijah Weaver.
· Smith’s triple gave UD a lead it would not give up the rest of the game.
· After a cold start, the Flyer’s offense heated up as they scored on four straight possessions with buckets coming from Smith, R.J. Blakney, Elijah Weaver, and DaRon Holmes II.
· Holmes II threw down a breakaway dunk at the 12:38 mark, igniting the home crowd and putting the Flyers up 10-2.
· Mustapha Amzil drained a transition three-pointer at the 8:20 mark, pushing the Dayton lead to nine and forcing a Virginia Tech timeout.
· Virginia Tech clawed back into the game with two straight three-pointers, cutting the Dayton lead to four at 19-15.
· The Flyers responded with an 8-0 run over 1:09 and extended the lead to 27-15 with 2:17 remaining in the half.
· During the run, R.J. Blakney contributed with six points on back- to-back threes. Blakney led the Flyers with 11 points at halftime on 4-5 shooting going 3-3 on shots behind the arc.
2nd Half: Dayton 62, Virginia Tech 57
· Coming out of halftime strong, the Flyers scored on back-to-back possessions, extending the lead to 11 with 19:11 to play.
· Flyers converted on back-to-back turnovers extending the lead to 15 with 16:46 remaining. Malachi Smith and Kobe Elvis each contributed two points.
· Dayton forced three consecutive turnovers, turning them into a 12-3 run that put the Flyers up 47-29 at the 13:35 mark.
· During that stretch Blakney scored consecutive straight points, forcing a Virginia Tech timeout.
· Blakney and Smith spearheaded the Flyers full-court pressure, each chipping in two steals and pushing the Dayton lead to 18.
· The Hokies retaliated with a 9-0 run of their own to cut the Flyers lead to nine (47-38) with 10:25 remaining.
· With 7:30 remaining in the game, the Flyers held on to a seven-point lead. The Hokies defense stepped up holding Dayton scoreless on their last five field goal attempts.
· At the final media timeout of the game, the Flyers held on to a five-point lead (54-49) with 2:45 remaining.
· Blakney hit another massive three-pointer, pushing the Dayton lead to 57-49 with 2:04 remaining in the game.
· Elijah Weaver and DaRon Holmes II iced the game with clutch free throws down the stretch, resulting in a 62-57 final.
· Mustapha Amzil scored eight of his 11 points in the second half, including six straight from the 7:30 mark to the 4:43 mark.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
· R.J. Blakney led the way for the Flyers, scoring a career and game-high 19 points.
· Blakney’s five-for-five performance from beyond the arc ties the second-best single game effort in UD history. The record belongs to Shawn Haughn, who went eight-for-eight against Saint Louis in 1993-94. Blakney is now tied with Dyshawn Pierre (Boston College, 2012-13) and Darrell Davis (Boston University, 2014-15).
· Two Flyers hit double figures in points – Blakney (19) and Mustapha Amzil (11).
· The Flyer full-court defense gave the Hokies fits, forcing 13 turnovers and generating nine steals.
· Dayton assisted on 15 of their 21 made field goals. Weaver led the way with six and Smith had four.
· The Flyers carried play for the majority of the game, holding a lead for 34:13 minutes.
· Holmes II led the Flyers in rebounding with eight, while Amzil had seven.
· After a week between games during semester exams, Dayton will head to Oxford, Miss. for a game at Ole Miss on Dec. 18th. Game time is 6:30 p.m. ET.
· The team will be back at UD Arena on Sunday, Dec. 21st for a matchup with Southern. The game against the Jaguars tips at 7 p.m. ET.