The win probability for Virginia Commonwealth hovered around 99 percent or higher, according to KenPom.com, for most of the final 10 minutes of the second half Saturday at the Siegel Center. The Dayton Flyers would not have liked their odds if they had known them.
Dayton coach Anthony Grant and his players did not give up.
“We felt like this was the type of game where no lead is safe and no deficit is insurmountable and we needed to play for 40 minutes,” Grant said. “Our guys understood that and bought into that and kept battling and gave ourselves a chance.”
“We just fought at the end,” Dayton guard Trey Landers said. “We just tried to share the ball as much as we could, and we ended up hitting shots and going to overtime.”
Dayton's 16-1 run in the final minutes, capped off by a layup with 0.1 seconds to play by Josh Cunningham, didn't change the final result. The Flyers (11-13, 5-7) lost 88-84 in overtime. It's their second overtime loss in the last three games and their second in a row on the road.
VCU, on the other hand, avoided its first three-game losing streak of the season and salvaged a victory after blowing a double-digit lead for the second straight game. The Rams led Richmond by 12 with eight minutes to play Wednesday and lost 77-76.
“We were playing some really good basketball, without a doubt,” VCU coach Mike Rhoades said, “and then we just lost our composure and didn’t execute down the stretch, especially when the shot clock got down. We were trying to keep that clock moving.”
Record book: Darrell Davis scored 10 points for Dayton and now has 922 in his career. He passed Kevin Dillard (913) and Dan Sadlier (915) to move into 58th place, one point behind Devin Oliver (923).
Next game: Dayton plays at George Mason at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Fairfax, Va.. Spectrum Sports will televise the game. The Flyers have seven straight victories against the Patriots.
George Mason (11-14, 5-7) beat visiting George Washington 72-65 on Saturday. Otis Livingston II scored 14 points.
The Patriots are tied with Dayton and St. Joseph’s for eighth place. George Washington (10-15, 3-9) sits alone in last place.
Around the A-10: No. 18 Rhode Island (20-3, 12-0) beat Davidson 72-59 on Friday in Kingston, R.I. The Rams have won 15 games in a row and extended their lead over second-place Davidson (13-10, 8-4) and St. Bonaventure (18-6, 8-4) to four games with six to play.
• Fordham (9-15, 4-8) beat Duquesne 80-57 in Pittsburgh. The Dukes (15-11, 6-7) have lost three games in a row and five of their last six. Fordham has won two games in a row for the first time this season.
• Saint Louis (14-12, 7-6) beat La Salle 70-62 in St. Louis. The Billikens have won four of their last five games.