DaRon Holmes II scored a game-high 15 points, leading Dayton to a 76-60 win over Miami in the first round of the eight-team ESPN Events Invitational on Thursday afternoon at Kissimmee, Fla.
Dayton (2-3), which snapped a three-game losing streak, also got 14 points each from Malachi Smith and Elijah Weaver.
Smith, who also had a game-high seven assists, shot 6-of-7 from the floor. Weaver and Holmes each shot 5-of-6.
For the game, Dayton shot 58.7 percent, including 11-of-19 from the 3-point line.
Miami (3-2), slowed by Dayton’s pressure defense, shot just 38.3 percent from the floor, including 4-of-20 on 3-pointers (20.0 percent).
The Hurricanes’ top three scorers — Isaiah Wong, Kameron McGusty and Charlie Moore — all struggled. They entered Wednesday combining to average 46 points per game.
Against Dayton, however, Moore was held to two points on 1-for-7 shooting. McGusty had just eight points on 2-for-7 shooting. And Wong managed a team-high 10 points on 4-for-9 shooting. Combined, they made 1-of-8 from distance.
Early on, however, the Hurricanes led by as many as four points. But with Miami on top 13-11 and 12:46 left in the first half, the Canes missed their next nine shots, and Dayton went on a 9-0 run.
The Flyers increased their lead to 13 points and settled for a 36-25 lead at halftime.
Miami shot just 30 percent from the floor in the first half, including 1-for-11 on 3-pointers (9.1 percent). Dayton shot 53.8 percent, including 4-for-9 on 3-pointers (44.4 percent).
Holmes, who shot 4-for-4 from the floor, led all first-half scorers with 12 points.
Miami’s aforementioned top three scorers all struggled shooting from the floor in the first half as Moore went 0-for-5, Wong shot 1-for-4, and McGusty was 1-for-6.
The Hurricanes started the second half with a quick 6-0 run, getting a Rodney Miller post-up, a McGusty steal and layup and a Wong jumper in 35 seconds, cutting Miami’s deficit to 36-31.
But Dayton coach Anthony Grant — a Miami native — called timeout, and the Flyers responded with a 10-0 run for a 46-31 lead.
The Flyers cruised from there.
–Field Level Media
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