Dayton Flyers fall short in overtime against Kansas in Maui Invitational championship

Published: Wednesday, November 27, 2019 @ 6:02 PM

Dayton's Obi Toppin looks for a shot in the first half against Kansas in the Maui Invitational championship game on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, at the Lahaina Civic Center.
David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Dayton's Obi Toppin looks for a shot in the first half against Kansas in the Maui Invitational championship game on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, at the Lahaina Civic Center.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

The Dayton Flyers pushed the nation's fourth-ranked team for 45 minutes, showing they are every bit as good as they looked in the first two rounds of the Maui Invitational but falling short in overtime in the championship game Wednesday.

» PHOTOS: Flyers vs. Jayhawks

Kansas was too strong in the post in the final minutes and in overtime and pulled out a 90-84 victory at the Lahaina Civic Center. Despite the result, the game should rank among the greatest in Dayton history. Seeking their first victory against a top-five team since the famous last-second win over DePaul in 1984, the Flyers just couldn't get enough stops in overtime.

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Udoka Azubuike, a 7-foot senior center for Kansas, won the game with his dominant performance, especially toward the end of the game as the Jayhawks looked to him every time. He scored 29 points on 12-of-15 shooting. He had 11 points in overtime.

A 3-pointer by Jalen Crutcher in the final seconds of regulation tied the game at 73-73. Crutcher made 4 of 9 3-pointers, and Dayton shot 48.5 percent from 3-point range, showing the touch from outside in the opening minutes and staying hot the entire game.

» TUESDAY COVERAGE: National attention for FlyersFlyers vs. Hokies photosFlyers like rims at LahainaToppin grateful for family’s presence

Ryan Mikesell led the Flyers with 19 points. Obi Toppin scored 18, adding another strong performance to his resume but falling short of 20 for the first time this season. Ibi Watson added 16. Crutcher had 12.

Dayton (5-1) heads home on Thursday night and returns to action Tuesday against Houston Baptist.

Halftime recap: The Flyers made their first five 3-pointers, withstood a run by Kansas and built a 37-36 halftime lead.

Dayton made 8 of 18 3-pointers (60 percent) in the half. Ibi Watson made 3 of 6 and led the Flyers with 11 points.

Toppin was held scoreless for most of the half but got going late and scored seven.

» HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY: Dayton seeks rare top-five win

Devon Dotson scored 17 points for Kansas. The Jayhawks trailed 17-14 and then went on a 10-2 run.

Dayton, which did not score in the last two minutes after taking a 37-33 lead, led by as many as four points. Kansas led by as many as five. It was an intense, back-and-forth first half.

Each team had five turnovers. Kansas outscored Dayton 8-3 at the free-throw line.