Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) -- The Second Round of the NCAA Tournament started with a bang when the (11) Dayton Flyers upset the (6) Ohio State Buckeyes 60-59. Dayton will play (3) Syracuse Orange, after they defeated (14) Western Michigan Broncos 77-53. In night action, it took overtime for (7) UConn Huskies to defeat (10) St. Joseph’s Hawks 89-81. The Huskies will play (2) Villanova Wildcats, who pulled away from (15) UW-Milwaukee Panthers 73-53.
The Buckeyes opened the game by hitting a pair of baskets for a 5-0 lead, but a 10-2 run from Dayton gave the 11-see a 13-9 lead partway through the opening half. Aaron Craft helped spark the Ohio State offense with 5 of his 9 points in the first coming on back-to-back possessions. The guard hit a three-point play followed by a basket to give OSU a 22-21 lead.
Matt Kavanaugh led the way for the Flyers in the opening twenty minutes. Ohio State did not have an answer for the center, who racked up 9 points before the break. The two teams each recorded 13 rebounds in the first half, 12 of the 13 coming on the defensive end.
Sam Thompson led the Buckeyes in scoring for the game with 10 of his 18 points coming in the second half. Craft scored with just over ten seconds to go in the game to put the Buckeyes in front, but the Flyers would go down to the other end of the court and score with just 3.8 to go in the game. Craft’s final shot of the game would not go, and he finished with 16 points.
Vee Sanford’s layup with just 3.8 seconds remaining capped off a 10-point game for the guard. Dyshawn Pierre hit three clutch free throws down the stretch to help put the Flyers in front, 58-57, and set up the frenetic finish. Pierre finished the game with a team-high 12 points in the win.
The Orange dominated the opening twenty minutes thanks to hot shooting by Cooney. The redshirt-sophomore had 3 three-pointers on his way to 12 points in the half. Ennis closed the half with 11 points as well, helping Syracuse head to the locker room with a 40-21 lead over the Broncos. Syracuse also outrebounded their opponent 16-9 in the first. Including a 6-1 edge on the offensive end.
Shayne Whittington and David Brown each scored 5 points to lead Western Michigan, who went 8-19 from the field as a team in the half. Syracuse’s largest lead of the half was 20 points, when they led 31-11 with 2:53 to go in the half.
Jerami Grant capped off his afternoon with 16 points. The forward put the exclamation point on the day with a slam-dunk over a Western Michigan player to get the pro-Syracuse crowd onto its feet. The largest lead of the game was 28, with less than four minutes to go in the contest. Syracuse outrebounded the Broncos 41-25, which includes a 13-8 advantage on the offensive glass.
Langston Galloway led the Hawks in the opening half with 12 points, and was one of three St. Joe’s scorers in double figures in the half. DeAndre’ Bember notched 11 points, while Ronald Roberts Jr. recorded 10 points. The scoring out of the starters helped St. Joe’s take control after the lead changed hands eight times over the first ten minutes of the half.
The Hawks held UConn in check for much of the half, not allowing any Huskies scorers into double figures. Ryan Boatright led the team with 8 points in the first, while Niles Giffey chipped in 7 points as well. The Huskies were outrebounded 17-13 in the first half, thanks to a balanced defensive attack by St. Joe’s. Both Roberts and Halil Kanacevic recorded 4 rebounds in the half.
The Huskies would not go away, and late in the second half their persistence was rewarded. UConn held the lead late in the half and traded the lead with the Hawks down the stretch. Shabazz Napier has a chance to win the game for the 7-seed, but his runner would not go and the two teams went to overtime tied 70-70.
Kanacevic quickly fouled out in the extra session when an and-1 play gave UConn the first points of OT. A 9-1 scoring run was enough cushion for the Huskies to hold onto and survive. Napier finished the game with 24 points and 8 rebounds, while Galloway led all scorers with 25 points in a losing effort.
It took Milwaukee nearly five minutes to record their first basket of the game, but Villanova did not take advantage. The Wildcats shot poorly from the field, and led just 6-0 before Panthers’ Matt Tiby connected from behind the three-point line. A JJ Panoske three-pointer with just over eight minutes to go in the first half gave Milwaukee their first lead of the night. It would balloon up to 5 points, before the Wildcats drew even, 23-23, and hit the break with a 27-23 lead.
The Wildcats missed their first 16 three-point attempts in the game, and finished the night 4-23 from behind the arc. Milwaukee shot 6-24 from three, but just 18-63 overall from the field. Darrun Hilliard led Villanova in scoring, as the Wildcats pulled away late in the second half over Milwaukee. The guard recorded 16 points, while JayVaughn Pinkston added 13, and James Bell scored 12 points.
Villanova closed the game with a 12-2 scoring run over the final 4:20 of the game to defeat Milwaukee by twenty points, 73-53.