University Of Dayton Flyers

No. 25 Dayton overcomes big deficit to beat VCU in overtime, goes undefeated at home

Photo of Koby Brea. Photo courtesy of Rick Roshto

DAYTON — The No. 25 Dayton Flyers trailed by as much as 17 points in the first half against the VCU Rams but came back to win, 91-86, in overtime Friday night at the UD Arena.

>>PHOTOS: 2023-24 University of Dayton Men’s Basketball season

UD trailed 26-9 at the 10:09 mark of the first half and cut the halftime deficit to 38-31. The game was tied at 70-70 after regulation.

Kobe Elvis scored 10 of his 15 points in overtime. He made back-to-back three-pointers that put the Flyers ahead for good, 83-80, with 43 seconds left.

Dayton sealed the game by making eight free throws, including two by DaRon Holmes II with 0.2 seconds remaining.

UD ends the regular season undefeated at the UD Arena with a 15-0 record. This marks the fourth time in program history they have achieved that. The other three times were back in 2008-09 (18-0), 2014-15 (17-0), and 2019-20 (17-0).

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The Rams started the game by making five three-pointers to jump ahead 26-9 and silence the crowd at UD Arena. It forced Flyer head coach Anthony Grant to call a timeout.

Dayton outscored VCU, 17-8, as Santos’ trey cut it to 34-26 with 2:31 left until halftime.. UD got within five, 36-31, but Kuany Kuany’s two foul shots put the Rams ahead, 38-31, at halftime. Zeb Jackson scored 12 first-half points.

VCU led by as much as nine points in the second half, 52-43, with 12:56 remaining. Brea and Elvis combined to score nine points to get the Flyers within two, 54-52.

Santos gave Dayton their first lead of the game, 64-62, with 5:57 to play. But Sean Bairstow’s three-pointer and Joe Bamisile scored to give VCU a 70-66 advantage with 2:47 to go.

Cheeks and Brea each made baskets to tie the game at 70-70. Both teams had a chance to win in the final seconds of regulation. Brea missed a jumper with 11 seconds and Zeb Jackson missed a three-pointer and the game went to overtime.

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In overtime, Bamisile and Jackson made back-to-back threes to put the Rams ahead, 80-77, with 1:21 to go. Elvis responded with a three-pointer to tie the game at 80-80 with 1:09 left in overtime. Christian Fermin turned it over for VCU and Elvis knocked down a fastbreak trey to put the Flyers ahead for good, 83-80.

Elvis and Cheeks each made two foul shots to extend it to 87-70, but Jackson and Max Shulga both knocked down threes to cut it to 88-86 with four seconds remaining. Cheeks made one of two foul shots with 1.9 seconds left. Alphonzo Billups III overthrew an in-bounds pass and Holmes got with less than a second left. He sealed the game with two free throws.

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Holmes led UD with 23 points and 10 rebounds while Nate Santos had 21 points, including 17 in the first half. Koby Brea added 18 while Elvis scored 15 points, all in the second half. Enoch Cheeks also 14. Both Elvis and Cheeks had six assists.

Jackson scored 26 points to lead VCU and Shulga added 14. Sean Bairstow and Joe Bamisile each scored 13 points. The Rams made 18-42 three-pointers.

The Flyers improved their overall record to 24-6, 14-4 in the Atlantic 10, to conclude the regular season.

Dayton’s next game will be Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

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