BY MIKE SMITH
OXFORD, Ohio – Several flurries of turnovers put hosting Miami in a big hole, and the Dayton Flyers took advantage of the situation on the way to a 66-62 victory over the RedHawks Wednesday at Millett Hall.
Dayton (5-1) outscored the RedHawks 25-8 in points off turnovers and led by 16 points midway through the second half. Miami (2-5) rallied with the help pressure defense and 54.5 percent shooting from behind the arc in second half, but it could get no closer than three points (twice) in the last 31 seconds.
Dayton, an area rival, held off the ‘Hawks at the free throw line. It was quantity over quality for UD at the stripe as the Flyers did well enough to win. After hitting 4-of-5 from the line before intermission, they connected on 18-of-28 (64.3%) free throws in the final stanza. Miami, which trailed 31-23 at the break, made 7 of 12 (58.3%) free throws in the second half.
Kendall Pollard paced Dayton with 15 points on 6-of-7 from the field and 3-of-6 free throws. Center Devon Scott (13) and Jordan Sibert (11) also reached double figures for UD. Scott made it a double-double night with 10 rebounds to go with his 13 points.
Miami was led by Willie Moore’s 14 points. The 6-3 junior guard made 5-of-7 overall and was 4-of-5 from distance. He had just one bucket – a trey – before halftime. Point guard Eric Washington (12) and forward Chris Bryant (10) also reached double figures.
Dayton owned a 29-26 edge in rebounding and 26-22 advantage on points in the paint.
Both teams struggled at scoring the ball early, and Miami held a 10-5 lead with 12:58 to go in the first half. The RedHawks seemed interested in getting the ball inside, but that led to a flurry of turnovers – either from the pass or the catch. UD had a 15-4 points off turnover advantage at the break.
Dayton, meanwhile was getting good looks but failing to hit shots. When UD started connecting, it built up a seven-point lead (19-12) following a triple by Kyle Davis at 7:38. Miami whittled it to a pair following two Bryant free throws at 6:16, but the Flyers took over again and owned a 27-17 advantage with 3:49 left. It was an eight-point (31-23) Flyer lead heading into the locker room.
Pollard had six points and Jalen Robinson added a bucket in a 7-0 run that left Dayton in front 42-27 (15 points) at 14:09. The lead got as high as 16 points, which came at 10:15 on a layup by Ryan Bass.
Moore had eight markers in a 10-1 Miami run that cut the deficit to seven at 8:17, but the visitors were still in front by nine (61-52) with just 1:08 left. Treys by Will Sullivan and Washington reduced it to three, but Dayton sealed the win with four free throws before Sullivan hit another three with two seconds remaining to close the scoring.
Miami returns to action Saturday when it visits IPFW in Fort Wayne. Game time is 7 p.m.