Kevin Dillard had 11 points on Friday
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- The University of Dayton Flyers used a strong second half to take a 64-57 victory over the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames Friday night at UD Arena. The Flyers scored 17 unanswered points late in the first half and beginning of the second half to propel them to the victory.
UD trailed the Flames 32-24 with 1:31 remaining in the first half, but thanks to a 5-0 run by sophomore Devin Oliver, on a three from the wing and a follow-up tip-slam on a fast break, the Flyers were able to cut UIC’s lead to 32-29 as the teams headed into the locker room.
Dayton continued that surge in the second half as they scored the first nine points of the half to lead the Flames 41-32 with 15:36 left in the game. UIC scored its first basket of the second half at the 15:19 mark. Overall, the UIC drought lasted five minutes and 10 seconds from the 1:31 mark in the first half until the 15:19 mark of the second half. During that time, UD turned a 32-24 deficit into a 41-32 lead.
Redshirt junior Josh Benson led the Flyers with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. He also had three blocked shots. Redshirt junior Kevin Dillard scored 11 points and Oliver added nine points and tied a career-high with eight rebounds. Dillard added four assists against one turnover.
UD started slow from the field as they hit just 5-of-17 shots in the first nine minutes and 43 seconds of the first half. UIC started red-hot from the field, converting the first 8-of-12 shots.
The game was tied at 17 with 8:09 left in the first half before a 9-0 UIC run pushed the lead to 26-17 with 5:04 remaining in the half. The Flames would score just six more points for the next 10 minutes and 23 seconds of the game.
The Flames regained the lead in the second half 46-45 with 10:05 left on a three-pointer by Daniel Barnes. That was the last lead for UIC. A pair of Chris Johnson free throws at the 9:47 mark put Dayton in front for good.
But the game remained close for the rest of the way. UD made the necessary defensive stops to hold on for the win, allowing just two field goals in the last 10 minutes of the game.
With the Flyers holding a 57-55 lead with 37.6 seconds left, Benson stole the inbounds pass and was fouled. Benson made both free throws to give UD a 59-55 lead. A foul by Dillard sent the Flames to the line for a one-and-one. Barnes
made both free throws with 31.4 seconds left to once again cut the lead to two, 59-57. Redshirt senior Josh Parker was fouled on the inbounds pass and converted 1-of-2 free throws to push the Flyer lead to 60-57 with 30 seconds left.
Barnes missed the potential game tying three with 22 seconds left, and Johnson made both free throws, after a UIC foul, to secure the win.
After shooting 42.4% (12-29) from the floor in the first half, Dayton improved to 52.4% (11-21) in the second half. At the other end, UIC shot 53.8% (14-26) in the first half, but was held to 26.7% (8-30) in the second half.
Overall, the Flyers made 23-of-50 shots from the field (46%) and held the Flames to 22-of-56 shooting (39.3%). UD held UIC to just 4-of-23 shooting from beyond the arc (17.4%). The Flyers outscored the Flames 34-24 in the paint and UD held the advantage in bench points 22-6.
The Flyers take a week off for the Christmas holiday, and then will be back in action in their final non-conference game against the Ole Miss Rebels at UD Arena on Friday, Dec. 30. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.