Game No. 34 recap: Dayton 56, Boise State 55

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Jordan Sibert leaves the court for the last time. Again. David Jablonski/Staff


Archie Miller stands out on the front of the Dayton men’s basketball postseason media guide with his chest puffed out, looking like Superman without a cape. The Dayton seven surround him.

From everything we’ve seen out of Archie and the Flyers the last two Marches, it’s not a stretch to call them superheros, or at least superhoopsters.

On a night with One Mooning Moment and quite a few shining ones, the Flyers had just enough gas in the tank or fuel in the legs or will in the heart to beat a Boise State team still searching for its first NCAA tournament victory after seven tries, a team unlucky enough to play a team that is almost unbeatable at home.

Here are five things to take from Dayton’s 26th victory: 56-55 over Boise.


 

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The game winner. David Jablonski/Staff


1. Jordan Sibert is Michael Jordan.

Clutch is not his middle name. It’s not even his Twitter handle. Smooth Jordan is what he goes by on Twitter. He’s definitely smooth.

Here’s what I wrote last night after Jordan Sibert’s Second Senior Night surpassed even the perfection of his first.

Chants of “True Team” rained down from the stands in the final seconds. The Flyer Faithful came through for the Dayton Flyers on Wednesday in the First Four, willing the team to its first ever NCAA tournament victory at UD Arena.

The Flyers passed the heart test in a week dominated by NCAA talk about the eye test. Dayton overcame a seven-point deficit in the final four minutes to beat Boise State 56-55 Wednesday in a matchup of No. 11 seeds in front of a crowd of 12,592.

“I got to relive another senior night, I guess,” said Dayton’s lone senior, Jordan Sibert, “and it was electrifying. They kept us going.”

“Coach (Archie Miller) called the play,” said Sibert, who played only 24 minutes because of foul trouble. “He believed in me. When you’ve got a group of people like this around you who — no matter if you have foul trouble or shots are not going in — just keep telling you to shoot the ball and believe in yourself, it’s easy to go out there and catch a good rhythm and shoot it.”

Boise’s Montigo Alford missed a shot with 16 seconds left after Sibert’s 3-pointer. Kendall Pollard grabbed the rebound and was fouled. He missed two free throws.

That set up Boise for a chance to win the game in the final seconds. Derrick Marks, with Kyle Davis draped all over him, missed a 3-pointer from the corner at the buzzer.”Coach told us if Marks got the ball to trap,” Davis said. “We knew the ball was going to him, but as a good defensive player that I am, when he got it, Jordan helped a little bit and just trusted me to stick with him on the last play.”


 

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The VIP fans. David Jablonski/Staff


2. The crowd gets a large share of the credit.

It was a bit odd seeing the Blue Man Group, the three guys who paint themselves for all the UD home games, and the two stewardesses in the middle of the arena’s lower section and not in the student section. There wasn’t a student section for this one.

But this was a better crowd than usual and easily the best crowd of the season.

Tom Archdeacon covered that angle in his story:

One thing was evident as the Flyers — looking tired and tentative at times and fighting foul trouble — mounted a comeback, they were lifted by the vocal crowd of 12,592.

The last teams to play an NCAA tournament game on their home floor were Syracuse and Arizona — both in 1987 — and two years later the NCAA disallowed that practice.

He said rather than manipulate the bracket, the Flyers would be given the same considerations of any other team.

Publicly, at least, Boise State said it wasn’t fazed by coming into UD Arena, where the Flyers were 16-0 this season and had a 21-game winning streak.


 

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Pierre on his phone after the game. David Jablonski/Staff

3. Dyshawn Pierre will live forever on YouTube.

I’m going to let my story last night speak for myself on this one. I’ll add one thing. As Archie Miller left the court after doing final interviews, he called out to Kyle Davis’ family in the stands, “How about Dyshawn’s pants.”

 A night for the ages featured more than a few moments that will live forever in the memories of the Flyer Faithful — and one moment especially that will be immortalized as long as YouTube survives.

Dayton guard Kyle Davis leaped to try to get a rebound in the second half, and when he came back to earth, his foot caught in forward Dyshawn Pierre’s shorts, pulling them to the ground. Pierre grabbed the rebound and with one hand pulled up his shorts.

“Oh his pants came down!” the truTV announcer said.

Later in the locker room after a 56-55 victory over Boise State in the First Four, Pierre watched a clip of the play over and over, laughing like a kid with his teammates.

“It’s everywhere,” Pierre said. “I think it’s a happy blooper now. It’s never, ever happened to me. It’s not embarrassing. I really don’t care. It is Kyle’s fault.”

“It was just a freak accident,” Davis said. “But I know everybody on YouTube and everybody watching the game laughed about it. We’re going to laugh about it. These are just memories we’re making as a team.”


 

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Boise’s last shot. David Jablonski/Staff

4. Kyle Davis made the stop of the night on final play.

If you’re a Boise State fan, you think it was a foul. If you’re a UD fan, you think the Boise shooter leaned into Davis. That’s probably how the final shot of the game will be viewed. It’s a call that could have gone either way.

This is from our Bengals/Wright State writer Jay Morrison, who helped out last night:

In reality, it lasted about a second. Maybe less.

In Kyle Davis’ mind, he was in the air forever. Maybe longer.

Tasked with defending Boise State’s Derrick Marks on the final play of Wednesday night’s First Four game, Davis bit on a shot fake and left his feet.

Marks, the Mountain West Player of the Year, jumped into Davis to draw contact while heaving a 3-pointer, which missed its mark.

The horn sounded. The referee’s whistle didn’t. And the sellout crowd at UD Arena erupted in a mixture of relief and jubilation as the Flyers celebrated a 56-55 victory.

“That last play felt like Brooklyn when Langston Galloway had the step-back 3 on me to win the game,” Davis said, referring to last year’s Atlantic 10 tournament quarterfinal loss. “I actually thought about that as it was happening. I was telling myself, ‘Don’t leave your feet.’ Next thing I knew I was in the air thinking ‘What did I do?”

The answer was ‘nothing wrong,’ according to the officials, as well as most of the 12,592 fans in the building.

Boise State coach Leon Rice obviously disagreed with the no-call when it happened, juding by his reaction. But he stopped short of criticizing the officials in the postgame press conference.

“You know, what can you say? It’s a tough position,” he said. “I was trying to yell for a timeout right when (Igor Hadziomerovvic) was inbounding it. When Derrick got it, I was still kind of – that was futile. Nobody could hear me. But you had it in your best guy’s hands. (Davis) did a good job. They did a good job keeping him from penetrating.”


 

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The Flyers celebrate. David Jablonski/Staff

5. No rest for the weary.

So Dayton headed to Columbus right after the game, as did I because I live here. If the Flyers had any players from Columbus on their roster, this would be quite the homecoming. It is a homecoming of sorts for Sibert, who played two years here.

Dayton practices at 6:40 p.m. tonight and plays Providence sometime close to 10 p.m. Friday. I imagine that one will start after 10 because it depends on how long the first game goes.

In my mind, some of the weight is off this team’s shoulders. It didn’t want to lose at home. It wanted to play in the round of 64. Will it play even more loose now that it has a win under or its belt? Or will it finally show the fatigue of playing five games in eight days? Stay tuned.


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