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Game Highlights

The Cavaliers did not start the game looking like a well-oiled machine this time; instead they looked more like a broken down old tractor fixed up with parts scrounged from other discarded machinery on the farm. But they got it running after some sputters and it got the job done.  Dayton was fresh off taking down Big East Butler by out-toughing them, and they came into this one believing they could do the same to the ACC team.  And why not?  They held Virginia scoreless for the first five minutes while a pair of offensive rebounds and a nasty stepback three staked them to a 7-0 lead.  The Hoos missed four three-pointers and three layups before Kyle Guy pulled up behind a Braxton Key ball screen and fired up a three. When it went through the net, Virginia trailed by only 4 despite the five minutes of futility.

Dre gives Virginia the lead for good with an offensive rebound. Special to HOOS Place from Wahoo Josh

Once the Hoos got that old machine running, it plowed over everything in its path.  Slowly, methodically, row-by-row, the Virginia offense ground back into the game until the Cavaliers seized their first lead at 18-17 with just under six minutes left in the first half on an offensive rebound and layup by De'Andre Hunter.  Dre's putback was in the midst of a 6-0 stretch that gave Virginia the initiative.  A pair of free throws by Guy gave the Hoos a three-point lead, and after Dayton tied the game on a Josh Cunningham layup with 2:26 remaining, Virginia popped off seven straight in slightly over a minute to seize control for good. Another Hunter putback and a jumper by Guy sandwiched a Kihei Clark three-pointer in the run.

The rest of the game was a tug-of-war between Virginia trying to blow the game open and Dayton fighting to stay alive.  The Flyers bracketed halftime with four second-chance points on offensive rebounds by Cunningham and Trey Landers to cut the lead to three, but they could get no closer, and five straight points by Ty Jerome pushed the lead out to eight. The Hoos could not get it into double-digits, and the Flyers could not get closer than two possessions. The second half was a veritable shootout, as neither team could keep the other out of the lane.  Dayton's bigs, Cunningham and 6-9, 220 pound redshirt freshman Obi Toppin (remember that name, you will hear it more in the next few years), combined for 19 points in the half, while Virginia's Big Three stepped up with 35 of Virginia's 39 second-half points.

Jerome led the Cavaliers with 15 points, charging into the lane time and again, getting to the line, where he shot 10 free throws.  Hunter did most of his damage inside, but it was his last-second - literally - three-pointer that finally put the Flyers on the ground.  He had 13 of his game high 23 points in this half.  Guy chipped in 7 points on 3-5 shooting.

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