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Women’s Basketball: Dayton Flyers fall to Tennessee in NCAA Tournament

Published: Saturday, March 18, 2017 @ 6:03 PM

Dayton drops first round game against Tennessee

For awhile, it looked like the University of Dayton women’s basketball team was going to follow the same script from the Atlantic 10 Tournament in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon at the KFC Yum! Center:

Get down big early, make a run to tie the game then slowly build a lead after getting the jets revved.

Well, two out of three.

The Flyers (22-10) got down by double digits to Tennessee early and came back to tie at the half, but couldn’t pull the final part of the equation together in a 66-57 loss.

“We’ve had some slow starts in the first quarter,” Flyers coach Shauna Green said. “I thought our start was going to be really, really key today in how we came out. We’ve been known to make runs and come back and that’s exactly what we did today. It was the same pattern.”

Diamond DeShields scored 24 points to lead the Vols. She’s the daughter of Delino DeShields, the former major leaguer and current manager of the Louisville Bats, the Reds’ Class AAA team.

Here are five things to know from the game:

Slow start: The Flyers fell behind 20-9 after the first quarter while struggling with their shooting, making 3 of 19 shots, many of which were open.

Dayton did bounce back to tie 29-29 at halftime on a pair of free throws from Lauren Cannatelli.

“I thought we came out a little timid,” Green said. “That’s all you talk about all week is attacking them and being confident. We shot the ball well at the shootaround.

“So we didn’t have a great start. Yeah, we were 1-for-16, but I’m not going to tell them to stop shooting.”

Dayton was 7 of 12 in the second quarter, which it closed on a 16-6 run.

The difference?

“I think we let the game come to us a little more after the first quarter,” point guard Jenna Burdette said. “We just needed to calm down.”

Turning point: With the Flyers trailing 41-39 with 5:21 remaining in the third quarter, backup Jordan Wilmoth got tangled up with Alex Middleton under the basket and went down holding her right knee.

The freshman had scored a career-high seven points in the first half to go with two rebounds.

Tennessee closed the quarter with a 10-3 run to open a 51-42 lead.

Post battle: Dayton was out-rebounded 43-39. Alex Harris had 14 rebounds for the Flyers, but Tennessee got 15 from Schaquilla Nunn and 10 from Mercedes Russell.

“It was a drastic change in terms of size, but our game plan didn’t change at all,” UD senior Saicha Grant-Allen said. “We tried to get inside and use our length too. We’re a tall team too, so the game plan didn’t change but it’s definitely a difference.”

Long-distance issues: The Flyers made 4 of 20 three-pointers after entering the contest shooting 35 percent from behind the arc.

“That is such a big part of what we do,” Green said. “We were getting the looks we wanted, we just couldn’t hit them.

“In past games, we’d hit some of those corner threes or one of those kickouts and that would give us a lot of momentum, and they just didn’t go (Saturday).”

Foul problems: Dayton made its biggest run of the day to tie the game in the second quarter with Burdette, Austria and Grant-Allen on the bench with two fouls.

Plagued by foul trouble, the Flyers watched Tennessee make 22 of 33 free throws. Dayton was 11 of 14 from the foul line.

“We made that run with freshmen on the floor,” Green said. “I don’t even know if there was a senior on the floor during that run.

“Sometimes with freshmen, they don’t know any better. They come in and shoot, but I think that they will take this experience and grow from it. That’s going to be something we can go towards next year and that they have a taste of it and know they can play with the best.”

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Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell era ends with blowout loss to Central Michigan

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 8:58 PM

Kelsey Mitchell and Kevin McGuff react to Ohio State’s loss to Central Michigan and the end of her great career.

Central Michigan looked far from an 11 seed Monday night. 

The Chippewas crushed third-seeded Ohio State 95-78 at St. John Arena to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. 

That brought an end to the brilliant career of Ohio State point guard Kelsey Mitchell. 

She scored 28 points to finish with 3,402 for her career. 

That is No. 1 at Ohio State and in Big Ten annals while trailing only Washington’s Kelsey Plum on the NCAA’s all-time list (3,527). Mitchell passed Jackie Stiles of Missouri State to move into second place with a breakaway layup in the fourth quarter. 

The three-time Big Ten Player of the Year also holds the NCAA record for 3-pointers with 497. 

Sports Today: So much for Ohio’s high NCAA tournament hopes

Ohio State led by as many as 10 in the first quarter, but the Chippewas scored the last four points of the stanza to close within 15-9. 

CMU hung around despite missing 13 of 16 shots in the first quarter.  

Ohio State was 6 for 16 but committed four turnovers, but that was spectacular compared to a disastrous second quarter for the Buckeyes. 

The Big Ten champions missed 11 of 13 shots from the field and committed six turnovers against an aggressive CMU defense and while being outscored 25-6. 

“First of all, give Central Michigan credit,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. “They played a great game and they deserved to win. They were outstanding today and they’ve got a great basketball team.

“They were well-prepared and their kids really executed at a high level tonight, but I don’t think we handled the adversity of them making shots or them going on a run. We kind of got out of the things that make us a good basketball team. And when that happened, they really made us pay.” 

The Chippewas used a 20-1 run that started late in the first quarter to open up a 25-16. 

Mitchell halted that by rattling home a jumper from the elbow with 3:12 on the clock. 

She had a chance to make it a three-point game with 2:18 left but missed a free throw. 

Then the Buckeyes gave up three consecutive 3-pointers, two wide-open looks for Cassie Breen and one a fadeaway by Presley Hudson off the dribble. 

That plunged the Buckeyes into a 34-21 hole from which they never recovered.

Ohio State shot 27.6 percent in the first half and committed 10 turnovers. 

Central Michigan made 30.6 percent of its shots, had only five turnovers and enjoyed a 28-20 rebounding advantage. 

The Chippewas extended their lead in the third quarter with an out-of-this-world shooting performance. 

They made 11 of 16 field goals, including 7 of 8 from 3-point range to extend their lead to 67-46. 

The Buckeyes found some offense in the third, but not nearly enough. 

Ohio State was still outscored 33-25 in the stanza and never got closer than 13 in the fourth quarter. 

“I guess it just felt like everything was going in,” Hudson said of the second half. “We got a lot of open shots and even if we weren’t open we felt like we could make ‘em.” 

Hudson led Central Michigan with 28 points while Breen had 22. 

Stephanie Mavunga scored 16 points for Ohio State while fellow senior Linnae Harper added 14.

“They did a good job of capitalizing on everything we did wrong,” Mavunga said. “They never let up.” 

The Buckeyes had a seven-game winning streak in NCAA tournament games at St. John Arena snapped. 

Central Michigan ended up making 14 of 27 from 3-point range and won the battle of the boards 46-35. 

Ohio State was knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the second round for the first time since 2015. 

The Buckeyes advanced to the Sweet 16 the past two seasons but haven’t been to the Elite Eight since 1993, when they made their only Final Four and lost in the national championship game to Texas Tech.  

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Bodine leaves Bengals for Bills

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 6:28 PM

            ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 09: Russell Bodine #61 of the Cincinnati Bengals at AT&T Stadium on October 9, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 09: Russell Bodine #61 of the Cincinnati Bengals at AT&T Stadium on October 9, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Russell Bodine will not return to the Cincinnati Bengals after signing with the Buffalo Bills on Monday.

Bodine started all 64 games at center after the Bengals traded up to draft him in the fourth round in 2015. The unrestricted free agent signed a two-year contract with the Bills.

›› Burfict suspended for PED violation

The only center on the Bengals roster is T.J. Johnson, a seventh-round pick in 2013 who has appeared in 45 games with five starts, all at guard.

The Bengals could look to add depth at the position by signing one of the veteran free agents available, but the 2018 starter could be a player they select in the 2018 draft next month.

Follow Jay Morrison on Twitter

The Bengals own the 21st pick after trading back nine spots to obtain tackle Cordy Glenn from Buffalo.

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Dayton has two scholarships open as another player leaves

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 5:18 PM

Dayton’s Matej Svoboda looks to pass against Auburn on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Staff Writer
Dayton’s Matej Svoboda looks to pass against Auburn on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

Dayton Flyers freshman Matej Svoboda will leave the program after one season to return home to the Czech Republic, according to a source.

Svoboda’s departure means Dayton has two scholarships open for the 2018-19 season. Xeyrius Williams announced he was transferring earlier this month.

» RELATED: Dayton holiday tournament shaping up to be a tough one

Svoboda, a 6-foot-7 forward, will play professional basketball in his home country. He appeared in 28 games this past season for the Flyers, averaging 2.2 points and 1.2 rebounds in 11.4 minutes per game. He shot 20 percent from 3-point range (9 of 45).

Svoboda was recruited by Archie Miller’s staff and committed to Dayton in February of 2017. He signed with Dayton in May despite not having met new coach Anthony Grant in person.

» RELATED: Archdeacon on Svoboda

Svoboda was one of five members of the 2017 freshman class and one of six Flyers to make their college debuts last season.

Like many of the Flyers, Svoboda’s minutes dipped and climbed throughout the season, but he found a role as a contributor off the bench late in the season. He never developed into a consistent scoring threat and didn’t score in four of his last five appearances. He missed his last six 3-pointers. He scored his season high of nine points in the fourth game of the season against Akron.

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Dayton’s 2018 holiday tournament shaping up to be a tough one

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 4:42 PM

Dayton players huddle before a game against Duquesne on Feb. 7 at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Staff Writer
Dayton players huddle before a game against Duquesne on Feb. 7 at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

Tickets are now on sale for the Battle 4 Atlantis, the November tournament in the Bahamas that will include the Dayton Flyers. On paper, it looks like one of the best in-season tournaments ever to have Dayton in the field.

Even if the Flyers are much improved from a 14-17 season, they might be the big underdog. The tournament features four teams from the 2018 NCAA tournament. It also includes three programs Dayton played in the NCAA tournament in 2014 and 2015. The top six conferences are represented: ACC, Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, Pac 12 and Big East.

» WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Green excited about Dayton’s future

The tournament takes place Nov. 21-23 on Paradise Island, Bahamas. Here’s a glance at the eight teams with 2018 RPI in parentheses:

1. Virginia (1): The Cavaliers ranked No. 1 in the RPI and received the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament. Of course, by now, everyone knows what happened next.

2. Middle Tennessee State (33): The Blue Raiders were snubbed by the NCAA tournament selection committee despite a 25-8 record. They also lost their coach, Kermit Davis, after 16 seasons. He’s now the head coach at Mississippi.

» FIRST FOUR: How teams fared in rest of tournament

3.  Butler (41): The Bulldogs finished 21-14, losing 76-73 to Purdue in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

4. Florida (46): The Gators beat St. Bonaventure 77-62 in the first round before losing 69-66 to Texas Tech on Saturday. Florida beat Dayton 62-52 in the Elite Eight in 2014.

5. Oklahoma (49): The Sooners finished 18-14. They lost 83-78 to Rhode Island in the first round. Oklahoma knocked Dayton out of the tournament in 2015, winning 72-66 in the second round in Columbus.

» MARCH SADNESS: Cincinnati’s worst sports moments since 2000 | So much for Ohio’s high hopes in the Big Dance

6. Stanford (86): The Cardinal finished 19-15. They missed the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight season. They played Dayton in their last NCAA tournament game, losing 82-72 in the Sweet 16 in 2014.

7. Wisconsin (113): The Badgers saw their streak of 19 straight NCAA tournament appearances end this year. They finished 15-18. It was their first losing season since 1997-98 (12-19).

8. Dayton (147): Dayton’s streak of four NCAA appearances ended this March. The Flyers lose one starter, Darrell Davis, and return leading scorer Josh Cunningham (15.4 points per game).

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