Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dayton Rallies Late and Escapes the First Four Against Boise State

Last night it was the battle of the 11 seeds in the First Four, Dayton vs. Boise State.  As in all tournament games, the game should have been played at a neutral site.  Instead, the game was played on Dayton's homecourt and the energy of the home crowd helped them rally late in the game.

Late in the first half Boise State went on a 17-4 run and it looked like they were going to pull away with the game.  Dayton's Jordan Sibert was on the bench with foul trouble, and without him they lacked a good offensive tempo.  But as always, Sean Miller and Dayton made adjustments and rallied back.  In the second half Dayton clawed their way back into winning contention.

The game went back and forth between the two teams in late minutes and was finally decided with only a second left on the clock.  Boise State's Derrick Marks heaved up a 3 at the buzzer, and seemed to have gotten fouled.  As the ball soared through the air and fell short of going through the basket, no whistle was blown.  Marks was not fouled according to the refs, and Boise State's tournament run was over.

Sophomore Kendall Pollard led the Dayton Flyers with 17 points and helped direct the team while their star player Sibert was on the bench.

With their win last night, Dayton has now won their last 22 games at home.  The Flyers next move on to play the 6th seeded Providence Friars on Friday.  Although this game won't be played in their home arena, it will still be played in Ohio.  Maybe the home state crowd will energize Dayton a similar tourney run to the Elite Eight appearance they made last year.

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