ORLANDO, Florida (WDTN) – The University of Dayton men’s basketball defeated the Miami Hurricanes on Thursday in the opening game of the ESPN Events Invitational by a score of 76-60. The Flyers advance to the semifinals of the tournament and will play the winner of this afternoon’s Kansas-North Texas matchup Friday at 1 p.m. ET. This was Anthony Grant’s 80th career win at Dayton.
The Flyers were led by a pair of true freshmen who saw career highs in the contest. DaRon Holmes II scored 15 off 5-of -6 shooting while Malachi Smith scored 14 with six rebounds and seven assists off 6-of-7 shooting. Redshirt Junior Elijah Weaver also had 14 points and made four threes.
Dayton is now 2-3 on the season, while Miami is now 3-2.
1st Half: Dayton 36, Miami 25
· Both teams’ defenses started the game out strong, forcing a combined seven turnovers in the first four minutes.
· The Flyers jumped out to an early 6-4 lead off four straight points from Holmes II.
· Dayton’s defense held Miami to just 13 points in the first 10 minutes on 29% shooting.
· Miami was held scoreless for a 5:19 stretch where they missed eight straight field goals. Dayton scored nine consecutive points during this time to take a lead they would not give up.
· Back-to-back layups by Smith gave the Flyers a 20-13 lead forcing a Miami timeout with 7:27 remaining.
· The lead was extended to 12 off five straight points by redshirt freshman Mustapha Amzil.
· The Flyers maintained a double-digit lead for the remaining three minutes of the half which gave the Flyers their largest halftime lead of the season.
· Holmes II led the Flyers in the half with 12 points off 4-4 shooting. Amzil had eight points and four rebounds.
· The Hurricanes shot 30% from the field during the half and 1-11 from three.
2nd Half: Dayton 76, Miami 60
· Miami quickly scored three times to open the half reducing the Flyers lead to five.
· Dayton answered right back with an 8-0 run which featured two straight threes by Elijah Weaver. This gave the Flyers a 44-31 lead four minutes into the half.
· In the first eight minutes of the half, Dayton shot 3-for-4 from three and maintained a 14-point lead.
· The Dayton lead was extended to 59-41 with 7:27 remaining off Weaver’s third three-pointer of the contest.
· The Flyers lead was cut down to 12 with two minutes remaining.
· The Flyers finished the game making five of their last seven shots from the field.
· Weaver scored all of his 14 points in the half.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
· Four Flyers hit double digits — DaRon Holmes II (15), Malachi Smith (14), Elijah Weaver (14, all in the second half) and Mustapha Amzil (11).
· Thirteen of the first 20 Dayton points were scored by true freshmen Holmes and Smith.
· Dayton made 11 threes, shooting 58% from beyond the arc, which was the best shooting performance of the season. Miami was held to just four threes on 20 attempts.
· Amzil recorded his first double-digit scoring game of the season and making three from beyond the arc.
· Smith led the way in the assist category with seven of the teams 14 assist.
· Toumani Camara also tied Smith and Amzil for the most rebounds with six.
· The Flyers out rebounded the Hurricanes 29-24
· Dayton continued to see a balanced scoring attack with seven players scoring at least five points.
· Dayton led for 31:43 minutes throughout the game which was the most the Flyers have led all season in a contest.