Toumani Camara driving to the basket. Photo courtesy of Keegan Gupta, director of digital media and photography.
Max Cross | Sports Editor
The Dayton Flyers suffered their first loss in Atlantic 10 Conference play to Virginia Commonwealth 63-62 at UD Arena on Friday. This was the second straight one-point loss to VCU at home, with the Rams winning 53-52 on Jan. 5 last season.
That was Dayton’s last loss at home until Friday when the Flyers committed three consecutive turnovers in the last minute to give the Rams the final blow to send Flyer fans home in stunning fashion.
Dayton had the ball with 30 seconds remaining and a 62-58 lead when freshman Mike Sharavjamts threw a half court pass that was intercepted by David Shriver. Shriver made a three-pointer with 27 seconds to play to make it 62-61.
On Dayton’s next possession, Toumani Camara advanced the ball past half court before getting it stolen by Nick Kern, who sprinted for the go-ahead layup with 16 seconds to play to give VCU a 63-62 lead.
The Flyers called timeout and then turned the ball over a third time in a row after inbounding the ball to Sharavjamts and having it hit off his foot and out of bounds to give possession back to VCU.
After VCU’s Jayden Nunn missed the front end of the 1-and-1, Dayton got the ball over halfcourt and called timeout to set up a play with 5.7 seconds left. Camara drove to the basket but missed the final shot with two defenders guarding him as the final buzzer went off, sending Flyer fans home in disbelief.
Despite the loss, Camara finished with a career high 26 points on 10 of 16 shooting. Daron Holmes II finished with 13 points, ending his streak of consecutive games scoring over 20 points at seven.
Dayton fans did see a positive from the game, as Kobe Elvis was dressed in uniform and warming up for the first time since Nov. 25. Richard Amaefule was also dressed. Starting point guard Malachi Smith was the only player not dressed
Dayton (12-6, 4-1 A10) had its seven game winning streak snapped and now sits in a tie for first place with VCU (13-5, 4-1 A10). Dayton returns to action at UD Arena on Tuesday when it takes on Davidson.