ACC Basketball: Dayton 80, Wake Forest 76
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. ó Dayton coach Archie Miller called the Flyers win over Wake Forest a great one.
Paul Williams scored 18 points, Chris Johnson hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer in the final minute and Dayton beat Wake Forest 80-76 in the opening round of the Old Spice Classic on Thursday night.
ěA lot of highs and lows in the game,î Miller said. ěIt was great to see a number of players really step up in a big way with some confidence. Tournaments like this really bring out the best in you.î
Johnsonís shot from the corner gave Dayton (3-1) a 77-75 lead with 35.4 seconds left. Wake Forest (3-1) turned the ball over on its next possession, and then fouled Williams, who made 1 of 2 free throws for a three-point advantage with 9.2 seconds to go.
After Wake Forestís Tony Chennault connected on one of two from the foul line, Johnson made two free throws for an 80-76 lead.
A back-and-forth contest saw Dayton go up 67-66 with 4:23 remaining on Williams three-pointer. Wake Forest responded with five straight points, all from Travis McKie, to take a four-point lead.
Matt Kavanaugh had 15 points and 13 rebounds and Kevin Dillard finished with 15 points for Dayton.
ěItís a big game and I was fired up from the get-go,î Kavanaugh said. ěAll the guys were.î
Wake Forest got 20 points from McKie. C.J Harris added 18.
ěToo many empty possessions,î Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik said. ěIt was a learning experience, but a painful learning experience.î
Chase Fischer connected from beyond the arc and Harris hit a short jumper as Wake Forest took a 61-55 lead with eight minutes left.
Wake Forest grabbed a 46-44 advantage on Fischerís 3-pointer six minutes into the second half.
Williams hit three 3-pointers as Dayton went ahead 44-37 with 16 1/2 minutes to play.
Harris had 12 first-half points, including a late 3 that pulled Wake Forest even at 33. There were six ties and eight lead changes during the first half.
ěWe certainly had the opportunity to win this game,î Bzdelik said.
Dillard hit a 3 as Dayton scored the gameís first seven points. Wake Forest, keyed by Harris and McKie, then scored eight points in a row.
Both teams went through a cool stretch after the strong starts. A pair of baskets by Kavanaugh put Dayton up 18-17 midway through the half.
Kavanaugh had 10 points in the opening 20 minutes.
ěHeís an everyday guy, puts his hard hat on and goes to work,î Miller said.