Dayton advances to the semifinals of the A-10 Tournament

DaRon Holmes leads the Flyers with a career-high 28 points

Photo of DaRon Holmes II. Photo courtesy of Rick Roshto

Washington DC — The Dayton Flyers survived and advanced in their quarterfinal match against UMass Minutemen Friday night; winning, 75-72, at the Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.

DaRon Holmes II led UD with a career-high 28 points, including the go ahead basket with 51 seconds left. Malachi Smith helped seal the game with three foul shots in the final seconds. The Flyers improved 23-9 overall.

In addition to Holmes’ game-high 28 points, Smith added 15 points. Toumani Camara scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds while R.J. Blakney had 10 points. Dayton shot 52 percent from the floor (26-50), including 56 percent in the second half.

Noah Fernandes led the Minutemen with 26 points while Javohn Garcia had 13 points. UMass finishes the season with a 15-17 record in Matt McCall’s final season as head coach. The school announced he will not be returning next season.

UMass led by as much as 10 points in the first half, 36-26, after Javohn Garcie three-pointer with 2:27 left until halftime but he was called for a technical foul. Dayton ended the first half scoring eight straight points and trailed, 36-34, at the break.

It stayed close throughout the second half. UMass led 48-43 after a Trent Buttrick trey but UD responded with a 7-2 run to tie the game at 50-50. The Flyers took a 61-57 lead with under five minutes left after Koby Brea basket and two free throws by R.J. Blakney. But the Minutemen responded and led, 68-65, with under two minutes to play.

Malachi Smith came up with a steal and was fouled with 1:26 to play and made two free throws to cut it to, 68-67. After stopping UMass at the other end, the Flyers got it to Holmes and he scored to reclaimed the lead, 69-68, with 51 seconds to play. Smith was fouled with 26 seconds to go and made two free throws to increase it to 71-68. Noah Fernandes got fouled with 15 seconds left and his two foul shots cut it to 71-70. Koby Brea was fouled, made the first, missed the second but grabbed the miss and got it to Toumani Camara. He was fouled and made two free throws to put UD ahead, 74-70. Rick Kelly’s layup cut it to 74-72 and Smith made one of two foul shots.

Dayton will play Richmond Saturday afternoon in the second semifinal game of the Atlantic 10 Championship in Washington DC. The first semifinal game between Davidson and Saint Louis at 1 pm. Pre-game coverage of Dayton and Richmond starts at 2:30 pm, tip-off will be around 3:30 pm and Flyer Feedback follows the game on the home of the Flyers; 1290 and 95-7, WHIO.

You can also listen to the game online here at WHIO.com.