Of all the empty possessions for the Dayton Flyers in the final four minutes Wednesday at Virginia Commonwealth — they scored two points in that span — none stood out more than the one that preceded the tie-breaking 3-pointer by Marcus Evans with 33 seconds to play.
Dayton lost 76-71 in a large part because of that shot, but the Flyers had the ball in a tie game with 1:24 to go and called a 30-second timeout at the 1:07 mark.
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Here’s what happened next. None of it happened fast enough considering how much time was on the shot clock.
Ryan Mikesell in-bounded the ball in front of the Dayton bench to Josh Cunningham, who held the ball for almost two seconds before passing it to Jalen Crutcher.
Crutcher dribbled left before throwing the ball back to the right to Mikesell, again in front of the bench. Crutcher’s pass was tipped before Mikesell caught it. Mikesell had to rush a shot as the shot clock expired and missed with 57 seconds to go.
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Here’s what Dayton coach Anthony Grant, Mikesell and Crutcher said about the play:
Grant: “We had guys with heavy minutes, and we didn’t have the urgency we needed coming out of the time-out with 10 seconds to go to get to the action the way we needed to get to the action. That didn’t go as planned.”
Mikesell: “I’m pretty sure we drew up a play to get Josh the ball inside real quick. I think a pass got deflected. I somehow got the ball and just threw it up. There was like a second left. When the ball was tipped, I was kind of thrown off. I just had to throw up a prayer.
Crutcher: “I think when we ran that play, we just jogged through it instead of sprinting through it. We were just jogging and running out of time.”