Dayton will have plenty of motivation after a quick turnaround following Saturday’s loss to Colorado.
The Flyers will play host to Grambling State on Monday in their second to last game before the new year.
The No. 13 Flyers were handed just their second defeat of the season when D’Shawn Schwartz drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer and McKinley Wright IV scored a season-high 29 points to lead the Buffaloes to a 78-76 win in overtime at the United Center in Chicago.
The Flyers are expected to drop in the Top 25 after notching their highest ranking since reaching No. 6 in December of 1967.
Dayton scored six straight points in overtime to lead 74-71, but Schwartz scored five points in the final 27 seconds, capped by his winning 3-pointer, to knock off the Flyers.
“It felt like I was in a game of NBA 2K,” Schwartz said of his winning shot. “It was surreal. I can’t even describe it.”
Wright IV, a former Dayton recruit, added to the Flyers’ woes by finishing one point shy of his career high and picking up 10 rebounds. Wright committed to Dayton but requested a release from his letter of intent in spring of 2017 after former coach Archie Miller left for Indiana.
The Flyers (9-2) will first face Grambling State on Monday, then close the 2019 calendar and nonconference season with a home game against North Florida on Dec. 30.
In some context, the Flyers must be happy to be playing so soon after their neutral court loss to the Buffaloes. What made the loss even more frustrating is the Flyers won most of the major statistical battles, shooting 50.0 percent (32 of 64) compared to Colorado’s 39.7 percent showing (27 of 68).
Dayton held the lead for 27:13 of the game, while its starters combined for 63 points. But the Buffaloes took the lead in the second half and nearly won in regulation until Dayton forced overtime with a late 3-pointer.
Colorado shot 66.7 percent from the field in the extra five-minute session.
Jalen Crutcher had a big game for the Flyers, finishing with a team-high 19 points while Obi Toppin added 17, including the game-tying 3-pointer. Both of the Flyers’ losses have come in overtime this season, with Kansas defeating Dayton on Nov. 27.
“We’ve got a lot of room to grow, and I think we haven’t reached our peak yet,” Crutcher said.
Grambling State (6-6) will be looking to gain a big win, which would add to the Flyers’ woes.
The Tigers will be well rested after taking a break since dropping a 93-72 decision at Marquette on Dec. 17. Kelton Edwards made five 3-pointers to finish with a team-high 22 points in the loss to Marquette.
The Tigers rely on a collective effort in the scoring column, with nine players scoring 7.5 points per game or higher, led by Devante Jackson’s 14.5. Grambling State likes to push the pace, averaging 80.2 points in its 12 games, while shooting 33.0 percent on 3-pointers.
–Field Level Media