Dillard's 20 lead Dayton to 73-63 win over Auburn

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Dayton coach Archie Miller learned more about his team than he wanted to at the Charleston Classic.

He liked how the Flyers (3-1) rebounded from an opening-round loss to win their final two, taking fifth place with a 73-63 victory over Auburn on Sunday. He found out his guys could handle not having senior point guard Kevin Dillard on the floor — although he hopes that won't happen again anytime soon.

Dillard missed several minutes after crashing hard to the floor in the second half. After receiving treatment, an ice pack and a tight wrap, Dillard returned to close out the victory with a season-high 20 points.

"When he went down, I don't think our team budged," Miller said. "I don't think we flinched. We had a lot of young guys in and out of the mix and that's what it's going to take."

Still, Miller wasn't crazy seeing his floor leader limping to the bench. Miller didn't have an update on Dillard's condition, "although the fact he came back in and played was a good sign."

Jalen Robinson scored all 12 of his points in the second half, going 6-of-6 in the period and helping carry the team in Dillard's absence. Devin Oliver had 12 points for the Flyers and Dillard was 12 of 14 from the foul line.

Miller said his team found its stride over these three games by letting things go. With so many young players, Miller said "less structure is better for this crew, getting the ball moving, getting the players moving."

Oliver agreed with Miller, both on structure and substance. "As coach said, this team is just getting used to playing with each other," Oliver said. "Less structure, I think, is better for this group because of versatility."

The Flyers finished the eight-team tournament with consecutive victories, defeating Boston College here on Friday night before toppling the Tigers of the Southeastern Conference. Dayton used a 13-2 run to close the first half and take control.

Auburn (2-2) led 23-22 when Dillard began Dayton's decisive run with a pair of foul shots. Freshman Devon Scott added six points in the surge, and when Matt Derenbecker hit a 3-pointer 47 seconds before halftime the Flyers were up 35-25. Dayton led by as many as 16 points in the second half.

Frankie Sullivan had 23 points to lead the Tigers, although he was 6-of-15 overall and made just one 3-pointer.

"They were tough on every drive. They were tough on every post-up and we weren't," Auburn coach Tony Barbee said. "That's the bottom line in this game. That's why we had so many balls knocked out of our hands. It's all about our level of toughness, which is almost non-existent."

Rob Chubb scored 11 points for Auburn and Noel Johnson had 10. The Tigers struggled from way outside, making just 4 of 16 3-point attempts.

Auburn and Dayton each bounced back from opening losses in the tournament with victories in their next games. The Flyers of the Atlantic 10 Conference defeated Boston College 87-71 on Friday behind the perfect shooting of freshman Dyshawn Pierre, who had 23 points and went 8-of-8 from the field.

The Tigers rebounded from a dreadful 79-59 loss against Murray State — Auburn trailed by 36 points in that one — to outlast the College of Charleston 55-51 on Friday night.

Sullivan had to be taken off the court Thursday night to get 20 stitches to close a nasty gash after crashing into scorer's table. But he was back to lead Auburn to victory over the Cougars with 20 of his 24 points coming after halftime.

It was Sullivan's 3-pointer with six minutes left in the first half that put Auburn ahead 23-22. That's when the Flyers took over with their go-ahead 13-2 run.

Once Dayton stretched things out, Auburn couldn't get closer than 10 points in the second half.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features