Dayton completes the job in Florida, beats Belmont to win ESPN Events Invitational

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WATCH: Dayton Flyers celebrate ESPN Events Invitational championship on Nov. 28, 2021

Flyers improve to 4-3 after 1-3 start

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The Dayton Flyers claimed their first tournament victory of any kind since 2011 on Sunday, beating Belmont 63-61 in the championship game of the ESPN Events Invitational at HP Fieldhouse.

» PHOTOS: Dayton vs. Belmont

Dayton’s last tournament victory — be it in a November tournament, the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament or in four NCAA tournament appearances — came in this same tournament, when it was called the Old Spice Classic, and same arena 10 years ago.

DaRon Holmes II led Dayton with 11 points. Malachi Smith and Kobe Elvis each scored 10.

Smith was named MVP of the tournament.

» NOTES: First-half performance by Elvis key

Dayton led throughout the second half but had to hold on in the final minutes as Belmont trimmed a nine-point Dayton lead to one point with an 8-0 run.

A 3-point play by Toumani Camara with 4:08 to play pushed Dayton’s lead to 57-53. Camara then made a layup on the next possession to give Dayton a six-point cushion.

In the final minutes, Holmes II scored on a putback with 32 seconds left, and Smith made 2 of 2 free throws with 16 seconds left to help seal the victory.

Dayton (4-3) beat Miami, Kansas and Belmont in four days after entering the tournament with three losses in a row to UMass Lowell, Lipscomb and Austin Peay.

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WATCH: Dayton postgame press conference after victory against Belmont on Nov. 28, 2021


Elvis, who did not play Friday against Kansas, led the Dayton Flyers with 10 points in the first half.

Elvis made all four of his field-goal attempts, including two 3-pointers, as Dayton took a 31-27 halftime lead.

» MORE ON UD: Ranking biggest shots of Grant era

Dayton shot 54.2 percent from the field and made 5 of 10 3-pointers, while Belmont shot 37.9 percent and made 3 of 12 3-pointers.

The Flyers committed seven turnovers, four by Elijah Weaver. The Bruins had four turnovers.

Koby Brea scored six points for Dayton, making 2 of 2 3-pointers. Toumani Camara, DaRon Holmes II and Malachi Smith each scored four.

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