This was Miami's biggest game of the season thus far against a very formidable opponent in the Dayton Flyers. The Flyers already have impressive non-conference wins on their resume by beating Alabama and a ranked Vanderbilt team on the road this season, and the Atlantic 10 is yet again another strong league.
The RedHawks have struggled on the road this season with three of their five losses coming away from home. The first half was very back and forth with each team having the lead and Miami actually held the largest lead of the half at four points. Eric Washington the leading scorer at halftime for both schools with 12. The Flyers had more of a balanced effort in the first half as they used to late threes by Darrell Davis to close the gap to two points at halftime.
The second half was a completely different story than the first half as the Flyers began the half on a 11-2 run to put Dayton up 9. At the 10:35 mark in the game the Dayton lead was up to 11 and it was gut-check time for Miami. The Redhawks responded, using a 15-4 spurt to pull even at 56 with the high-powered Flyers.
Charles Cooke, a junior from New Jersey and Dayton's leading scorer, then hit two big three pointers in a row to make it a six point lead with just over three minutes left. Miraculously, the RedHawks made three field goals in a row finishing with a layup by Abdoulaye Harouna who stole the ball from Kyle Davis.
Davis however would have the last laugh as on Dayton's last possession he made a jump shot to put the Flyers up 64-63 with just three seconds left. Washington then tried a three at the buzzer but it was unsuccessful for the RedHawks.
VIDEO: Kyle Davis' floater for the win with 2.1 seconds left. @KD_MP3 @DaytonMBB @DaytonTrueTeam @C4_Cooke pic.twitter.com/6eTVCgwDV7— Erik Elken (@Erik2245) December 23, 2015
The killer for Miami was the possession before as Washington missed a jumper but Logan McLane grabbed the offensive rebound. He then went tried a layup with 14 seconds left but missed and then gathered his own rebound but missed another jumper with to give Dayton one last chance. Had McLane held on to the ball Dayton would have been forced to foul to put them at least in a chance to increase the lead to two or three with around 10 seconds remaining.
The RedHawks (6-6) have one remaining non-conference game against South Carolina State before starting MAC play against Bowling Green on the road. This game is going to be a tough loss for the RedHawks to swallow but the inspired effort in a tough venue shows that this is a team that could do some damage in the MAC.
|Points||C. Cooke (21)||E. Washington (15)|
|Rebounds||Two tied (9)||C. Bryant (7)|
|Assists||S. Smith (4)||E. Washington (5)|
|Blocks||S. McElvene (4)||Two tied (1)|
|Steals||Three tied (1)||A. Harouna (3)|