NCAA News Wire

Dayton 55, Syracuse 53

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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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

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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