Published: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 1:58 AM
By: David Jablonski
DAVIDSON, N.C. — Dayton Flyers senior Scoochie Smith etched his name in the history books ages ago. His place is secure. He’ll finish his career ranked among Dayton’s all-time leaders in points and assists, and he’ll likely have appeared in more games than any player in school history when all is said and done.
Smith has hit enough big shots in the last four seasons to keep fans entertained on YouTube for hours, but he hit a new peak Friday. A subpar night for Dayton’s point guard ended with a spectacular five minutes.
Smith scored 11 of his 17 points in overtime as the Dayton Flyers (23-5, 14-2) rallied to beat Davidson 89-82 at Belk Arena. He hit three straight 3-pointers in the first 2 minutes and 31 seconds of overtime. Davidson (14-13, 7-9) never recovered.
“I was eager to make a play,” Smith said. “I didn’t make too many plays all game. After I made the first one, I knew it was over.”
Smith scored all six of his points in the first 40 minutes at the free-throw line. Entering overtime, he was 0-of-3 from the field. He picked up his fourth foul with 6:18 to go and went to the bench.
The Flyers trailed 70-57 at the 7:42 mark and cut the deficit to 70-59 on a jumper by Kendall Pollard with 7:27 to play. That’s where the comeback began.
Sophomore point guard John Crosby helped the comeback continue. He scored a career-high 12 points Tuesday and engineered a 20-0 run against George Mason, building confidence for a moment like this. He replaced Smith after his fourth foul. Crosby converted a 3-point play with 5:25 to go, cutting the deficit to 72-64.
“John did a really good job,” Dayton coach Archie Miller said. “His minutes were key.”
The comeback continued from there.
“It was fun watching what my teammates do what they do without much contribution from me,” Smith said.
With 17 points, Smith has 1,222 in his career. He passed Ken May and Alex Robertson on Friday to move into 30th place on the UD scoring charts. Smith had five assists and has 473 in his career. He ranks eighth.
Smith has also played in every game of the past four seasons, 134 in all. The Flyers are 101-33 in that span. He ranks sixth in school history and is four away from tying Chris Johnson for most games played in UD history. Smith is three games away from tying Kurt Huelsman and London Warren for most consecutive games played (137).
Those are all reasons Smith’s legend is secure. After Friday’s performance, it’s just a little bigger.
“He got us going,” Miller said. “He’s fearless when it comes to these big moments. He got a couple good looks. The first one went down, and after that, they all kind of looked the same.”