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