Dayton clinches victory against Rhode Island with late free throws

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Toumani Camara interview: Jan. 28, 2022

Freshman Holmes sets school record for blocks

Malachi Smith and Mustapha Amzil each made two free throws in the final 12 seconds to help the Dayton Flyers beat Rhode Island 53-51 on Friday at UD Arena.

Dayton (14-7, 6-2) won despite shooting 30.9% from the field (17 of 55) and 27.3% from 3-point range (6 of 22). It’s the first time it has won a game this season with a field-goal percentage worse than 40. It lost to UMass Lowell, Lipscomb, Virginia Commonwealth and George Mason on its four worst previous shooting nights.

The Flyers improved to 4-1 at home in Atlantic 10 Conference play entering a two-game stretch on the road. They play at VCU on Wednesday and at Saint Louis on Feb. 5.

Rhode Island (12-7, 3-4) lost its third straight game in A-10 play and fell to 1-3 against Dayton in the last two seasons. The teams play again in Kingston, R.I., on Feb. 14.

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Toumani Camara led Dayton with 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting. DaRon Holmes II scored 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting.

Holmes blocked six shots, tying the single-game school record for the third time. He also broke Steve McElvene’s school record for blocks in a season. McElvene blocked 55 shots in the 2015-16 season. Holmes now has 56 blocks.

Kobe Elvis scored 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting. Malachi Smith missed all eight of his field-goal attempts.

Dayton won despite a 24-point second half. Rhode Island wasn’t much better, scoring 26.

The Flyers took a 45-36 lead at the 13:14 mark on a basket by Kobe Elvis but then didn’t score again until the 4:30 mark on a dunk by Holmes. Another basket by Holmes at the 2:41 mark pushed the Dayton lead to 49-42.

Rhode Island still didn’t go away and cut the Dayton lead to 49-47 with 14 seconds to play. That’s when Smith stepped to the line to make two free throws. After a layup by Rhode Island with five seconds left, Amzil clinched the victory with two free throws with four seconds on the clock.

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HALFTIME RECAP

Rhode Island trimmed a 10-point deficit to 29-25 at halftime with a 7-1 run in the final minutes of the first half.

Camara led Dayton with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Holmes II scored eight points and blocked four shots.

The Flyers shot 34% (10 of 29) from the field, while the Rams shot 41% (11 of 27).

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Dayton outscored Rhode Island 7-2 at the free-throw line and committed five turnovers to Rhode Island’s eight.

The teams combined for one point in a five-minute stretch. Dayton stretched its lead to 10 points three times in the final five minutes but did not score in the last two minutes.

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DaRon Holmes II interview: Jan. 28, 2022

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