ORLANDO, FL. — The Dayton Flyers upset the number four ranked Kansas Jayhawks, 74-73, Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando, Florida. Mustapha Amzil’s jumper at the buzzer won the game for the Flyers. UD trailed by as much as fifteen points in the first half and ten points, 45-35, at halftime before coming back to take 68-61 lead with seven minutes to play. The Flyers improved to 3-3 overall and advance to championship game of the ESPN Events Invitational Sunday afternoon.
Kansas jumped out to an 11-1 lead but Koby Brea knocked down a pair of three-pointers for Dayton to cut the deficit to 19-14. The Jayhawks pushed the advantage to fifteen points, 44-29, on a Christian Braun dunk with 1:43 left in the first half. But UD outscored Kansas, 6-1, to end the first half and trailed, 45-35, at halftime.
The Flyers were hot to start the second half as they tied the game at 49-49 on a pair of three-pointers by Elijah Weaver. Daron Holmes II made a pair of dunks to give Dayton their first lead of the game, 53-50, with 14:50 to play.
The game was tied at 61-61 with 8:55 when Malachi Smith made a pair of layups and Weaver buried his third trey of the game to UD their biggest advantage of the game, 68-61, with 7:20 to play. But Kansas responded by outscoring the Flyers, 12-2, over a six-minute stretch and led, 73-70 with a minute to play.
Smith scored to cut it to 73-72 and David McCormick was called for an offensive foul for Kansas with 19 seconds left. The Flyers had the ball with 15 seconds left. Smith drove but his shot was rejected by McCormick. Amzil grabbed the miss and shot it. The ball bounced off the rim and fell in as the buzzer sounded and the Flyer bench exploded in celebration.
Listen to the final seconds of the game as heard on WHIO Radio
The win marked the first time the Flyers had beat a team ranked in the top four since 1984.
Dayton will play in the ESPN Events Invitational championship game against Belmont Sunday afternoon. Pre-game coverage begins at 3 pm, tip-off is at 4 pm with Larry Hansgen and Josh Postorinio on the home of the Flyers, 1290 and 95-7, WHIO. You can also listen to the game online at WHIO.com.
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