Dayton hangs on to beat Virginia Tech for second-best victory of season

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Anthony Grant press conference: Dec. 12, 2021

Blakney scores career-high 19 points

The Dayton Flyers have one of the strangest resumes in college basketball, and now that resume has another strong victory.

» PHOTOS: Dayton vs. Virginia Tech

Dayton beat Virginia Tech 62-57 on Sunday at UD Arena. Based on the NCAA Evaluation Tool, it’s Dayton’s second-best victory. Virginia Tech ranks 32nd in the NET. Dayton’s other top-50 victories came against No. 7 Kansas and No. 37 Belmont. The Flyers also have losses to three teams ranked below 175: UMass Lowell; Lipscomb; and Austin Peay.

Dayton led for most of the game after taking control with a 10-0 run early in the first half. The Flyers built an 18-point lead in the second half and then hung on despite a late scoring slump that saw them score seven points in an 11-minute stretch.

R.J. Blakney, who scored a career-high 19 points, made a 3-pointer with 2:04 to play to give Dayton a 57-49 lead. A layup by Mustapha Amzil on the next possession gave Dayton a comfortable cushion entering the final minute.

» ARCHDEACON: Flyers’ fab freshman DaRon Holmes II -- ‘It’s all about where you fit’

The Flyers improved to 7-3 by beating the most high-profile non-conference team that will visit UD Arena this season. The Hokies fell to 7-4, losing to Dayton for the second time in three seasons.

Blakney’s previous career high was 15 points last season. He made 7 of 9 field goals, including all five of his 3-point attempts

Amzil added 11 points. Elijah Weaver had nine points. Malachi Smith, DaRon Holmes II and Toumani Camara all had seven points.

Virginia Tech was shooting 40.5 percent from 3-point range entering the game but made 6 of 22 (27.3 percent), its worst percentage of the season.

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R.J. Blakney interview: Dec. 12, 2021

HALFTIME RECAP

Blakney scored 11 points to lead Dayton to a 29-22 halftime lead.

Blakney made 4 of 5 shots from the field, including 3 of 3 3-pointers. He fell one short of matching his season high in the first half. He had 12 points against UMass Lowell. He was averaging 5.0 points per game entering the game.

The Flyers led by as many as 12 points.

Neither team scored in the first four minutes. Virginia Tech got on the board with 15:31 to play. Dayton’s first basket, a 3-pointer by Malachi Smith, came at the 14:13 mark. The Flyers took control with a 10-0 run that at point, scoring the 10 points in less than two minutes.

Virginia Tech, one of the nation’s top 3-point shooting teams, missed its first six shots from long range but made 3 of its last five.

Dayton shot 42.3 percent from the field in the half and made 5 of 12 3-pointers. Virginia Tech shot 33.3 percent and made 3 of 11 3-pointers.

Weaver scored six points for Dayton. Holmes II had four points and six rebounds.

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Mustapha Amzil interview: Dec. 12, 2021

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