In 2014, Dayton bested Syracuse 55-53 in a nail-biter. Now they meet again, this time in the Round of 64, as both teams look to advance in the Midwest region.
By: Peter Elliott – NFL, MLB, and NCAA writer – @PelliottSports
The Flyers started off hot, hitting a few threes and out-rebounding any Syracuse player not named Tyler Roberson. The Orange found their footing later in the half, as freshman guard Malachi Richardson hit back-to-back three-pointers halfway through the first to pull them back within one. Syracuse went into halftime up by two, but that would all change soon.
Syracuse came alive in the second half at the Scottrade Center in Saint Louis, Missouri. After turning the ball over 11 times in the first, they only gave up five possessions in the second half. Junior Forward Tyler Roberson dominated the boards, grabbing 18 rebounds and scoring 10 points. Freshman guard Malachi Roberson was perhaps the player of the game, as he scored a game-high 21 points while dishing out three assists and getting four rebounds.
Dayton struggled in the second half, failing to make easy shots or shots in general as they scored just 17 points from the field, including just one three-pointer. One of Dayton’s biggest playmakers, guard Scoochie Smith had a good first half, scoring eight points, but he struggled after halftime, scoring just three points.
Syracuse continued a high level of play until the end of the game, which resulted in a final score of 70-51 Orange, a disappointing loss for Flyers head coach Archie Miller in Dayton’s third straight Tournament appearance.
Syracuse will go on to play 15 seed Middle Tennesse State, who shockingly upset two seed and favorite to win the Tournament, Michigan State.