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.

GAME BREAKDOWN

 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.