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Dayton 55, Syracuse 53

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Updated 11 months ago on
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Junior guard Jordan Sibert made a 3-pointer with 49 seconds left to put 11th-seeded Dayton up by six, and the Flyers held on to beat third-seeded Syracuse 55-53 in a third-round game Saturday night at First Niagara Center.

Syracuse point guard Tyler Ennis missed a 3-pointer just before the final buzzer, as the Flyers stunned the Orange.

Forward Dyshawn Pierre led Dayton with 14 points, and Sibert added 10 for the Flyers (25-10), who will play Kansas or Stanford in a Sweet 16 game next weekend.

Ennis led Syracuse (28-6) with 19, and forward C.J. Fair added 14.

Guard Scoochie Smith made a layup with 1:43 remaining following a turnover from Ennis. That gave Dayton a 49-46 lead. Syracuse sophomore Michael Gbinije then missed a 3-pointer from the left wing — his only miss in five attempts — and Sibert followed with his 3-pointer from the right wing.

Ennis converted a three-point play with a layup and free throw at the 41-second mark, cutting the lead to three. Ennis made two free throws to make it 52-51 with 24.8 seconds left, but Dayton forward Dyshawn Pierre sank two free throws two seconds later to make it a three-point game.

Ennis made a layup with 16 seconds left, cutting the lead to one. Syracuse had a chance to go ahead following a Sibert turnover with 13.8 seconds remaining, but Ennis missed a jumper with eight seconds left. Pierre opened the door by making only the first of two free throws, but Ennis opted to take a 3-pointer down by only two, and his shot misfired, giving Dayton its second upset in Buffalo.

The Flyers beat Ohio State in Thursday’s second-round game.

Dayton led 20-18 at the half as both teams struggled to score. Dayton shot 34.8 percent from the field, and Syracuse shot 30.4 percent. Syracuse, the nation’s No. 1-ranked team for much of this season, led for only 15 seconds.

Dayton jumped to an 11-4 lead on a jumper from guard Vee Sanford, quieting the pro-Orange crowd. Syracuse’s campus is about 2 1/2 hours from First Niagara Center.

Syracuse chipped away and took its first lead at 17-16 on two free throws from Fair with 2:47 left in the half. Sanford promptly hit a jumper to put Dayton back in front.

Syracuse’s lowest-scoring first half this season was 23 against Georgia Tech. Its lowest-scoring half overall was 21 against Miami.

Syracuse forward Jerami Grant and guard Trevor Cooney combined for 34 points in a win over Western Michigan on Thursday. The two combined for two points in the first half Saturday.

A layup by Fair put Syracuse ahead 23-22 and got the crowd loudly chanting “Let’s Go Orange!” But Dayton didn’t flinch, and when sophomore guard Khari Price nailed a 3-poiner with 12:56 remaining, the Flyers’ lead was 32-26.

The Orange rallied and took a 36-35 lead on a Grant steal and layup from Gbinije, a Duke transfer. Syracuse didn’t have the lead and the ball until 8:02 remained in the game, and a layup from Ennis gave the Orangemen their first three-point lead at 40-37.

Undaunted, Dayton overcame the deficit and the crowd, building a five-point lead with 4:35 remaining on back-to-back 3-pointers from Smith and Pierre.

NOTES: Syracuse F Jerami Grant fouled out in the final minute with only four points. He scored 16 in Thursday’s win over Western Michigan. … This is Syracuse’s 37th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Orange have reached the Sweet 16 in four of the past five seasons. … Dayton made its 15th NCAA appearance. The Flyers have been to the Sweet 16 three times in school history, most recently in 1984, when they advanced to the Elite Eight. … With Syracuse’s win over Western Michigan on Thursday, the Orange are 26-5 in its opening round under Jim Boeheim. … Dayton is 23-11 in the last seven years against BCS programs. The Flyers were 4-2 in the regular season, with both losses coming at the buzzer. … A Dayton-Syracuse matchup nearly took place in November. Baylor beat Dayton on a buzzer-beater in the EA Sports Maui Invitational, and the Bears went on to lose to Syracuse in the finals. … Syracuse G Tyler Ennis played in the game before older brother Dylan, a backup guard for

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