ORLANDO, FL. — The Dayton Flyers won the 2021 ESPN Events Invitational defeating the Belmont Bruins, 63-61, Sunday afternoon at HP Fieldhouse at the ESPN Wide Sports of Sports in Orlando, FL. Daron Holmes II had a double-double: 11 points and 10 rebounds, also blocking six shots. Malachi Smith and Kobe Elvis each added ten points. Smith was named tournament MVP as he also finished with six assists, five rebounds and three steals. UD won three games in four games beating Miami on Thursday, upsetting Kansas on Friday, and defeating Belmont on Sunday. The Flyers improved 4-3 overall. This is Dayton’s second tournament championship in Orlando, winning in 2011 when it was the Old Spice Classic.
The game was close throughout. UD fell behind 7-4 after a three-pointer by Tate Pierson. Elvis came off the bench and scored eight straight points to give them a 21-16 advantage. Koby Brea followed with a pair of three-pointers as the Flyers led at halftime, 31-27. Dayton’s defense held the Bruins 38 percent shooting in the first half, including 3 of 12 from three-point range.
Belmont tied the game at 34-34 to start the second half but Elijah Weaver buried two treys to put UD ahead, 42-34. Smith’s layup gave the Flyers their biggest lead of the game, 46-36, but Belmont responded with a pair of threes to cut Dayton’s advantage to 48-42. Lynn Greer III buried a jumper to make it a 54-45 lead with 7:56 to play. The Bruins went on an 8-0 run, including six points by Nick Muszynski to get within one, 54-53. Toumani Camara scored five straight points to extend the advantage to 59-53 with 3:28 remaining.
Ben Sheppard scored to make it a 59-57 UD lead with just over a minute to play but Holmes scored off a miss to give the Flyers a 61-57 lead. Muszynski made one of two foul shots and Smith made two for Dayton to give them a 63-58 advantage with 16 seconds left. Grayson Murphy scored to cut it to 63-60 with ten seconds to play. Camara was fouled and missed the front of a one-and-one and the Bruins had a chance to tie. Dayton used up their remaining fouls and put Murphy on the line with three seconds left. He made the first, missed the second and UD grabbed it to run out the clock.
The Flyers will be back in action Wednesday night when they host Alabama State. Pre-game coverage begins at 6 pm, tip-off is at 7 pm and Flyer Feedback is after 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.
©2021 Cox Media Group