The Dayton Flyers’ run in the 2021 National Invitational Tournament (NIT) ended Saturday afternoon when they lost to the Memphis Tigers, 71-60, at the Super Pit in Denton, Texas. Elijah Weaver led UD with 16 points off the bench, making all four of his three-point attempts. Ibi Watson added 13. Jalen Crutcher finished with six points, making three of ten shots.
The Flyers played the game without senior guard Rodney Chatman and freshman forward R.J. Blakney. Koby Brea started in Chatman’s place and finished with seven points in 26 minutes of action. Mustapha Amazil had 11 points and seven rebounds.
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Dayton led 28-27 at halftime and built the lead to seven points, 34-27, to begin the second half. The Tigers responded with a 16-3 run to go ahead, 43-37, with 15:39 left. UD stayed in the game and tied it at 51-51 with 8:40 to go on a basket by Ibi Watson. Weaver’s trey gave the Flyers a 58-56 with 6:51 remaining. Memphis got back-to-back threes, one by Boogie Ellis and another from Lester Quinones to take a 62-58 lead. Deandre Williams’ steal and basket extended it to 64-58 with over five minutes left.
Watson scored to cut it to 66-60 but D.J. Jeffries’ putback and dunk sealed the game. Memphis outscored the Flyers, 15-2, over the last six-plus minutes of the game.
The Tigers had four players in double figures, including 21 points from Landers Nolley II and fifteen points from Lester Quinones. The Tigers also had 17 offensive rebounds, including 12 second chance points. Memphis will play Boise State in the second round of the NIT.
Dayton ends the 2020-2021 season with a 14-10 record.