DAYTON, Ohio- The University of Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team prevailed over the Manhattan Jaspers 66-58 on Saturday afternoon at UD Arena. The Flyers starting backcourt of Kevin Dillard and Vee Sanford combined for 39 points (Dillard 20 points, Sanford 19 points) on 13-of-19 shooting. Devin Oliver chipped in his first career double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds.
A pair of Flyers reached career-highs on Saturday afternoon as Sanford scored a career-high 19 points and Oliver snagged a career-high-tying 12 rebounds. Dillard scored 20 points for the second consecutive game and has scored in double-figures each game this season.
Manhattan led 4-2 early in the game with 18:13 left in the first half before Sanford went on a personal 7-0 run to give UD a 9-4 lead with 16:50 left until halftime. Josh Benson added a jumper to cap off a 9-0 Flyer run, giving UD an 11-4 lead with 16:12 remaining in the first half. Dayton had their largest lead of the game, 18-7 with 13:13 left until halftime, after a Sanford three-pointer. But Sanford picked up his second foul less than two minutes later, and the momentum swung in the Jaspers’ favor.
Manhattan went on a 17-12 run over the next 10 minutes and five seconds to cut an 18-11 Flyer lead into just a 30-28 Flyer lead. Dillard buried a three-pointer with 1:04 left to give UD a 33-28 halftime advantage.
The Flyers pushed out to a 40-33 lead after Dyshawn Pierre sank a three-pointer with 17:13 left in the game, but Manhattan went on a 5-0 run after a George Beamon lay-up cut the Flyer lead to 40-38 with 12:57 remaining. Beamon led the Jaspers with 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
The game remained neck-and-neck with the Flyers controlling the lead until Manhattan took its second lead of the game after a three-pointer by Emmy Andujar put the Jaspers up 48-47 with 7:26 to go. A Beamon jumper gave Manhattan their largest lead, 51-48, with 5:55 left in the game.
The Flyers regained control of the game with a 6-0 run that give them a 54-51 lead, which was capped off by a fast break three-pointer by Dillard with 4:23 left in the game. The Flyers would not relinquish the lead again as Dillard scored seven of his game-high 20 and seven of UD’s final 15 points in the last four-and-a-half minutes of the game.
The Flyers forced the Jaspers to commit 25 turnovers, the most since Georgia Tech committed 26 in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Classic on Nov. 19, 2009.
UD shot 52% (22-of-42) from the field to hold off a pesky Manhattan squad. UD shot 50% (5-of-10) from the three and scored 24 points off of turnovers. UD also outscored the Jaspers 17-7 on fast break points and outrebounded them 27-25.
UD is back in action on Wednesday, Nov. 28 as the Flyers take on Weber State in the middle game of a three-game homestand. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET from UD Arena and can be viewed on WHIO-TV.