By: Nathan Vicar – Staff Writer
The University of Dayton men’s basketball team played its second ranked opponent in less than 24 hours against No. 18 Baylor University in the semi-finals of the EA Sports Maui Invitational Tuesday, Nov. 26.
Fortunes did not go as well for the Flyers as they did in its first game, as they fell 67-66 to the Bears.
Dayton (5-1) led by one with 17 seconds left until Baylor senior forward Cory Jefferson grabbed an offensive rebound that led to a layup to put Baylor ahead.
With 12 seconds remaining, Dayton failed to convert two attempts to win. The first came off a jump shot from senior guard Vee Sanford. Senior forward Devin Oliver then missed a tip-in shot that rolled around the rim with two seconds left before time expired.
“I thought it was going in,” Oliver said. “I was right there at the rim. I don’t know how I missed it.”
Dayton led for the majority of the game until those final 17 seconds when Jefferson made the layup.
“We did what we wanted to do, it was just a disappointing last eight minutes of the game,” head coach Archie Miller said. “I felt that we took the foot off the pedal and we had simple breakdowns. Baylor is hard to score against in the paint.”
Dayton was up at halftime 33-28 despite Baylor ending the half on a 9-0 run.
In the first half, Dayton was 7-of-13 on shooting 3-pointers, compared to their 1-of-8 in the first half against No. 11 Gonzaga University Monday, Nov. 25.
With 4:55 left in the first half, Dayton had its largest lead of the game at 14.
Oliver led the Flyers at halftime with nine points.
“For 30 minutes there, I felt that our guys looked as good as any team in college basketball,” Miller said.
Dayton came out strong to start the second half, as sophomore guard Khari Price hit a three that gave the Flyers a 10-point lead.
After Dayton dominated on the boards against Gonzaga, it was out rebounded however 35-25 by Baylor, many of which came down the stretch.
Baylor scored 17 second-chance points off its 12 offensive boards. They also dominated in the paint, outscoring Dayton 38-18.
Defensively, Dayton held its ground in holding Baylor’s leading scorer, senior guard Brady Heslip, to zero points.
However, Dayton allowed five other Baylor players to score in double-digits.
Baylor junior guard Kenny Chery and junior forward Royce O’ Neale led the Bears with 13 points each.
Redshirt junior guard Jordan Sibert led Dayton with 20 points, and Oliver added 14.
Sibert made no comment about the game afterwards.
Oliver was 5 for 7 on field goal attempts and was 4 for 4 behind the 3-point line. He also had six rebounds, five assists and three steals on the night.
Dayton is not eliminated from the tournament, as every team is assured of playing three games. Miller said he felt good about his team’s play so far, but Wednesday will be another test for the team.
“After playing our third game in three days against three quality opponents, we will know a lot about ourselves,” Miller said.
UD will face the University of California-Berkeley in the third-place game Wednesday, Nov. 27, at 7:30 p.m. ET, broadcasted by ESPN2.