Thanksgiving feast from three for Flyers men’s basketball in win over Hurricanes

Weaver (white jersey, pictured Nov. 20 against Austin Peay) finished with 14 points and shot 4-5 from three in Thursday’s 76-60 win over Miami (Fla.). Photo courtesy of Keegan Gupta, Flyer News.

Peter Burtnett | Sports Editor

The Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team had a Thanksgiving feast of threes in a 76-60 win over the Miami Hurricanes on Thursday at the HP Field House in Orlando, Fla.

Both teams started slowly in the first half, as the Flyers shot 5-14 from the field and the Hurricanes were 4-14 with the score tied at 13 with 9:42 left in the first half. 

By the end of the first half, the Flyers were up to 14-26 from the field and 4-9 from three, with 12 points from freshman forward DaRon Holmes II. Sophomore forward Mustapha Amzil and freshman guard Malachi Smith added 8 and 7 points, respectively, while Amzil and sophomore forward Toumani Camara were a presence in the paint with four rebounds each. 

At halftime, the Flyers had played strong defense and put together good offensive possessions over the final ten minutes of the half to take a 36-25 lead into the break.

In the opening minute of the second half, the Flyers allowed a layup on the first Hurricane possession and then turned the ball over and gave up an easy basket. The Hurricanes’ defensive intensity caused a turnover by Flyers redshirt junior guard Elijah Weaver. The Flyers called timeout with their lead trimmed to 36-31 with 17:55 left in the game.

Weaver made up for the turnovers by making two straight threes to push the Flyers’ lead to 44-31 with 16:08 left in the second half when the Hurricanes called timeout. 

While the Hurricanes threatened to make a comeback, the Flyers continued to knock down threes and get scoring from Holmes, improving to 7-14 from deep as Holmes was up to 14 points as the Flyers led 51-37 with 10:46 left in the game.

Smith continued his perfect shooting from the field (6-6 field goals), converting an and-one opportunity after a layup to push the Flyers’ lead to 56-41 when they called timeout with 8:51 left in the game as the Hurricanes went 3:36 without a made field goal.

That stretch without a made field goal would extend to exactly five minutes for Miami, before Isaiah Wong knocked down a three off the glass to cut the Flyers lead back down to 15 at 59-44 with 7:20 left in the game at another Flyer timeout. 

Down the final stretch of the game, the Flyers avoided the late turnovers and poor shooting that plagued them through their first four games, and came away with a 76-60 win over the Hurricanes. The Flyers finished 11-19 from three, and got 15 points and six rebounds from Holmes and 14 points each from Weaver and Smith. Amzil added 11 points and six rebounds, while Smith also had six rebounds and led the team with seven assists.

With the win, the Flyers improve to 2-3 on the season and advance to the semifinals of the ESPN Events Invitational, where they will face either Kansas or North Texas on Friday 30 minutes after the conclusion of the consolation game between Miami and the loser of the Kansas/North Texas game. Tipoff will likely be around 1 to 1:30 p.m.

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