The Red Scare delivered a moment denied to Dayton Flyers basketball fans in March in The Basketball Tournament on Wednesday.
Ryan Mikesell, playing in his first game since Senior Night at UD Arena on March 7, took a pass from Darrell Davis and made a wide-open 3-pointer from the corner in front of the Red Scare bench. With that basket, the team reached the Elam Ending target score and beat a Big Ten alumni team, Big X, 77-68 at Nationwide Arena in the round of 16.
“I was almost surprised I was so open,” Mikesell said. “I saw my guy take off with Darrell. I just let it fly.”
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The Red Scare needed only one point on that possession to win the game. It pulled ahead in a back-and-forth game midway through the fourth quarter and led 67-62 with under four minutes to play. At that point, the Elam Ending, a rule created by UD graduate Nick Elam, went into effect. The target score became 75 points, and the game clock was turned off. Dayton needed to score eight points. Big X would have had to score 13 points to win the game.
The Red Scare had no tense moments in the final minutes because Davis made two straight 3-pointers to push their lead to 73-62. Davis finished with a team-high 15 points and made 3 of 5 3-pointers on the same court where he scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from long range in the second round of the NCAA tournament against Oklahoma as a UD freshman in 2015.
“I try to pride myself on closing out game for my team because they’re confident in me,” Davis said. “They believe in me.”
Ryan Mikesell finishes it for @FlyersTBT! A 77-68 victory. pic.twitter.com/IkUfDLg1Je— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) July 8, 2020
"This is my NCAA Tournament right here" - Trey Landers ✈️✈️✈️@FlyersTBT pic.twitter.com/3tqZSjt1gh— TBT (@thetournament) July 8, 2020
The Red Scare advanced to play the House of Paign, a team of Illinois alums, in the quarterfinals at 4 p.m. Friday. House of ‘Paign upset the No. 1 seed and defending champion Carmen’s Crew 76-68 on Wednesday.
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The Red Scare finished the game with five former Flyers on the court: Mikesell, Darrell Davis, Kyle Davis, Devin Oliver and Trey Landers. However, they wouldn’t have won the game without the contributions of former Ohio State center Trevor Thompson and former Louisville guard Ryan McMahon, who each scored 12 points.
After the victory Landers climbed a ladder after the game to move the Red Scare’s name to the next in a giant bracket next to the court.
“This is my NCAA tournament right here,” Landers said.
Landers and Mikesell started for the Dayton team that finished 29-2 last season. The Flyers won their last 20 games only to see the season end March 12 with the cancellation of the Atlantic 10 and NCAA tournaments because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mikesell scored 14 points and made 4 of 7 3-pointers. That would have gone down as the second-best outside shooting performance of his college career. He made 5 of 7 in his first game with the Flyers in 2015. Last season, he shot 26.1 percent from 3-point range.
“I know I struggled a little bit last season,” Mikesell said, “but I know I’m a confident shooter. I trust my preparation. I’m a gym rat. I love to get extra shots up. It’s just a matter of going out there and trusting your preparation and knocking down shots.”
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