The No. 11 Dayton Flyers and No. 6 Providence Friars had a late 10:53 PM EST start at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. After a low scoring first half and a dominating second half, Dayton escaped as victors over Providence, 66-53.
Dyshawn Pierre and Jordan Sibert led the Flyers both with leadership and with high scoring efforts. They were two huge factors to the win in the First Four match as well.
Pierre went 6-for-10 from the field, 3-for-6 from deep and 5-for-5 from the charity stripe. He ended with 20 points, nine rebounds, two assists and one block. Pierre took care of the ball, turning it over just once on the night.
Sibert went 3-for-12 from the field, 3-for-9 form deep, but he made up for those struggles by going 6-for-8 from the free throw line. The team’s leading scorer finished with 15 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal. He turned the ball over just twice.
As a team, the Flyers shot 43 percent from the field, 35 percent from deep and 73 percent from the stripe. They grabbed 32 rebounds and made nine assists. Dayton turned the ball over 12 times and got eight steals.
The Friars were led by Kris Dunn and LaDontae Henton. Both guards tried to keep Providence in it, but could not compete with the pin-point accuracy of the shots form Sibert and Pierre.
Henton went 7-for-26 from the field, 4-for-13 from deep and 0-for-1 from the free throw line. He struggled to find his shot until the last two minutes when he hit a couple three point jumpers to try and help bring Providence back form the dead. However, he ended with 18 points, 11 rebounds, zero assists, one steal and one block. Henton turned the ball over once.
Dunn, the Big East Player of the Year, went 4-for-13 from the field, 1-for-2 from deep and 2-for-3 from the line. He struggled to fill up the cup, which is not normal for him. He struggled with seven turnovers on the night. Coming back for his junior season, Dunn will have to work on his ball-handling and shot selection if he wants to be known as one of the best guards in the game. He finished with 11 points, one rebound, four assists and one steal.
Providence shot an awful 34 percent from the field, a pretty good 39 percent from deep and a weak 43 percent from the free throw line. They grabbed 39 rebounds (seven more than Dayton) and had nine assists in the loss. If more shots would have fallen, Providence would have won the basketball game.
Providence is done after their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
Dayton will move on to face the No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners on Sunday. Coach Archie Miller led the Flyers to the Elite Eight last season and many are wondering if he can make another run of his own this time around.