Devin Oliver reacts after Dayton’s victory at Ole Miss on Jan. 4, 2014. David Jablonski/Staff
Did this really happen only 12 months ago? As I’ve said before, so much has happened to Dayton basketball over the past year, it seems like an eternity. But we’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of Devin Oliver’s OT bank shot to beat Ole Miss.
That shot is relevant again this week because the Flyers play Ole Miss again on Tuesday. A victory would give Dayton a 10-2 non-conference record. That would be a pretty neat feat for a team that has battled so much adversity. Through Sunday, the Flyers were 24th in the RPI, and Ole Miss was 68th.
Here’s a look back at that game last January in Oxford, Miss. If you’re wondering whatever happened to Marshall Henderson, by the way, he’s now playing in the Middle East in Qatar.
Oliver supplies twist by banking late 3-pointer
Flyers rally from four down with one minute left in OT.
OXFORD, MISS. — A season that began with a miracle play at the buzzer for the Flyers heads to Atlantic 10 play with another shot to remember.
Devin Oliver banked in a 3-pointer with seconds left in overtime to give Dayton an 83-80 victory over Mississippi on Saturday at Tad Smith Coliseum. William Faulkner himself, the Nobel Prize-winning author who lived in Oxford, wouldn’t have scripted such an ending.
“It was the prettiest bank shot I’ve ever seen,” Dayton coach Archie Miller said.
“After I shot it, I called (bank shot),” Oliver said, “but not initially. I didn’t care if it hit the rim 17 times and went in.”
Oliver finished with probably the best performance of the season by any Flyer. He hit 11-of-14 shots, scored 26 points, had seven rebounds, five assists and no turnovers.
The Flyers (12-3) trailed 80-76 with one minute left in overtime. A jumper by Dyshawn Pierre cut the deficit to two with 55 seconds left. A layup by Kyle Davis with 26 seconds left after a miss by Vee Sanford tied the game.
Ole Miss set up for the last shot but was whistled for an offensive foul. The Flyers got the ball, and Oliver dribbled down and nailed the game-winner. The Rebels missed a shot from beyond half court as time expired.
Earlier, Sanford missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer in the second half, and the teams went to overtime tied at 73-73.
A back-and-forth, thrilling second half featured big plays all over the place. Dayton had its biggest lead, 51-45, with 13 minutes left. But the Flyers never had a comfortable cushion.
Ole Miss had a 61-56 lead with eight minutes to play, but Oliver scored five straight points on back-to-back possessions to tie it with 7:09 left.
Marshall Henderson stole a pass and hit a 3-pointer with 3:20 left. Again Oliver responded with a 3-pointer on Dayton’s next possession, tying the game with 2:55 to go. Henderson finished with 15 points. Jarvis Summers led Ole Miss with 29 points.
Oliver scored Dayton’s last basket of the second half with 2:06 to play, a wide-open layup off an assist by Sanford. The Rebels’ Jarvis Summers tied the game moments later. Neither team scored in the last 1:50.
Dayton trailed 31-28 at halftime. Free throws were the big difference in the first half and, really, throughout the game. Ole Miss scored 10 of its first 17 points at the line, while Dayton hovered around 50 percent at the line, just as it shot in the last two games, for most of the night. They finished 10-of-20 at the line.