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Published: Wednesday, November 27, 2019 @ 1:02 AM
By: David Jablonski
LAHAINA, Hawaii — Everything was falling for the Dayton Flyers for a spell late in the first half Tuesday in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational. Obi Toppin made three 3-pointers in less than 90 seconds, breaking open a close game and starting a 20-5 run to end the half.
» FRIDAY FINAL: Flyers to play Kansas
Except for a couple of stretches, Dayton kept up that shooting pace. It shot 63.6 percent from the field and made 11 of 24 3-pointers (45.8 percent) in an 89-62 victory against Virginia Tech. The Flyers will play No. 4 Kansas in the championship game at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
It’s an understatement to say the Flyers love the rims at the Lahaina Civic Center.
“It’s a shooter’s gym for sure,” Dayton guard Ibi Watson said, “but I think it’s a credit to our offense and how we share the ball and want to see others succeed.”
» PHOTOS: Flyers vs. Hokies
Watson scored six points and made 1 of 4 3-pointers. His one made 3 came at a crucial moment. Virginia Tech was showing signs of starting a comeback, cutting the deficit to 64-50 with 7:57 remaining. Watson hit a 3-pointer on Dayton’s next possession, starting a 16-2 run.
“It was a good feeling,” Watson said. “My teammates did a good job of giving me confidence, telling me to shoot. Coach is telling me if I’ve got a look to let it go, and I just trusted in my preparation.”
That game-clinching run included three straight baskets by Obi Toppin, who led Dayton with 24 points, and then five straight points by Trey Landers, who scored 13.