Dayton needs win Friday to avoid first 0-3 November tournament since 1992

Flyers fall apart in second half in loss to N.C. State

NASSAU, Bahamas — As the hundreds of Dayton Flyers fans headed to the exit at Imperial Arena, one summed up the night for their favorite team by saying, “That was brutal.”

The Flyers, who started the season with the most hype of any team in coach Anthony Grant’s six seasons, fell to 3-3 with a 76-64 loss to North Carolina State (5-1) on the second day of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

“Credit to N.C. State,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “Congratulations to them. It was a hard-fought win today. Obviously, we fell short. It’s a learning opportunity. Hopefully, we can continue to move forward. We get another opportunity tomorrow. We have another short turnaround and quick preparation.”

Dayton will play Brigham Young, which lost 75-70 to Butler, at 3:30 p.m. Friday in the seventh-place game. The Flyers have not finished 0-3 in a November tournament since the 1992 Great Alaska Shootout when they lost to Illinois, UAB and Alaska-Anchorage.

Dayton built a 19-9 lead in the first half, turning the page from a 14-point first-half performance Wednesday in a 43-42 loss to Wisconsin. The optimism quickly faded as the Wolfpack outscored Dayton 14-3 over the next six minutes.

Dayton trailed 36-32 at halftime but regained the lead early in the second half. Toumani Camara scored the team’s first six points of the half, tying the game 38-38. Then Malachi Smith made a technical foul free throw to give Dayton a 39-38 lead.

Explore» PHOTOS: Dayton vs. N.C. State

Once again, the momentum didn’t last. N.C. State outscored Dayton 17-0 over the next 4½ minutes. Dayton turned the ball over four times during that stretch. Mustapha Amzil also was hit with a technical foul.

Grant received a technical foul himself later in the half as he crossed halfcourt to argue a call.

“I thought the refs missed a call,” Grant said. “I don’t know what the film will show, but from my vantage point, I thought he took three steps, and I was upset about it. Mustapha, I don’t know exactly what happened in terms of what he said or what happened there. I think he got maybe an offensive foul that he disagreed with, but he’s got to move on in those situations. Obviously I’ve got to hold myself accountable as well.”

Down by as many as 17 points, Dayton turned up the defensive pressure late in the game to cut the deficit to eight points but never made a serious run.

Camara led Dayton with 19 points. DaRon Holmes II scored 17. Jarkell Joiner led the Wolfpack with 27 points.

Both teams shot 49% from the field. N.C. State made 6 of 22 3-pointers. Dayton made 2 of 11. The Wolfpack outscored Dayton by four points at the free-throw line. Dayton had 18 turnovers, while N.C. State had 16.

The Wolfpack advanced to the fifth-place game. They will play Butler at 10 p.m. Friday.

“I would like to compliment Dayton and how hard they played,” N.C. State coach Kevin Keatts said. “Anthony has done a tremendous job with that program, and they’re here to stay. We knew we were going to play against a very good team and in our minds a top-25 team that won a lot of games last year and returned pretty much all of their starters. We knew it was gonna be a tough game.”

FRIDAY’S GAME

Dayton vs. Brigham Young, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU, 1290, 95.7

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