Dayton knocks off Ohio State
Vee Sanford banked in a runner with 3.8 seconds left as the Flyers prevailed over their in-state rival in a second-round NCAA tournament thriller in Buffalo, NY.
Sanford was just 3-of-10 from the field before his game-winning shot, which vaulted No. 11 Dayton into a matchup against third-seeded Syracuse or 14th-seeded Western Michigan in Saturday's third round of the South Regional. Aaron Craft, who had converted a twisting layup with 15.5 seconds left to put Ohio State in front by one, missed a contested runner at the buzzer to end his stellar collegiate career.
Sanford finished with 10 points while Dyshawn Pierre had 12 and Devin Oliver chipped in 11 for the Flyers (24-10). Sam Thompson, who had failed to surpass 11 points in 15 of his last 16 games, scored 18 to pace the sixth-seeded Buckeyes (25-10), who also received 16 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals from Craft.
Dayton was clinging to a 53-52 lead with 2 1/2 minutes left when Craft was whistled for an intentional foul against Jordan Sibert, who made both free throws only to watch Craft tie it with a three-point play on the other end. After Thompson's floater put Ohio State ahead with 56 seconds left, Pierre was clobbered in the left corner and made all three foul shots prior to Craft's go-ahead bucket.
Neither team led by more than six during a first half that ended with Dayton ahead 33-30, and the Flyers pushed their lead to 43-35 on Kendall Pollard’s layup with about 13 1/2 minutes remaining. The Buckeyes surged ahead behind a 10-0 run that featured four close-range baskets by Thompson, but the Flyers retook the lead before Craft's layup with 3:32 remaining created a 52-51 edge for Ohio State.
NOTEBOOK: The Buckeyes still lead the all-time series 4-3, although the teams had not met since the 2008 NIT. ... Dayton C Matt Kavanaugh scored nine first-half points to lead all scorers. He did not score after intermission. ... Ohio State F LaQuinton Ross chipped in 10 points but had five of his team's 14 turnovers.