TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Unlike last season’s 32-point victory for Dayton, this one went down to the wire.
Ryan Mikesell made his second 3-pointer of the game with 76 seconds left and Dayton beat Alabama 77-72 on Tuesday.
“That was a big shot, a really big shot for him,” Dayton coach Archie Miller said. “He’s a tough-minded kid, he’s got guts and I knew when he shot it he would have a chance to make it just because of who he is as a competitor.”
Alabama coach Avery Johnson called his last timeout to set up a tying 3-point play with 19.5 seconds remaining, but Corban Collins’ open attempt from the corner was off the mark.
“Coach Johnson did a really good job of drawing up a play to get us open,” Collins said. “I just had to take my time and I rushed it a little bit. But like coach said, it’s something we can look at in film and fix, and next time we see that situation we know how to handle it better.”
Scoochie Smith made three of Dayton’s nine 3-pointers and scored 20 points. Charles Cooke had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Dayton (2-0), which connected on 24 of 44 shots from the floor while Alabama made only 23 of 59 (39 percent). Mikesell and Josh Cunningham each scored 12 points.
“Really, really hard fought game, especially early in the season to come out on the road and find a way to get a win was big for our group,” Miller said.
Collins and Braxton Key scored 15 points apiece for the Crimson Tide (1-1), which outrebounded the Flyers 40-28, including 18-5 on the offense end. Dazon Ingram had 14 points and seven assists.
“Where we would’ve lost the game, obviously would have been on the glass,” Miller said. “Obviously we could not rebound the ball like a college basketball team today so that’s something we’re going to take into account.”
Dayton: The Flyers found themselves one spot outside the Top 25 this week, but with a win over the Crimson Tide, Dayton could be poised to move up next week.
Alabama: The Crimson Tide lost to Dayton for the second consecutive year and must now wait for another chance to prove itself on a national stage.
Dayton’s Josh Cunningham was fouled on a one-handed dunk to give his team a four-point lead in the final three seconds. He suffered an injury which knocked him out of the game and Miller said afterward that Cunningham could miss time due to knee and ankle injuries.
Alabama’s Braxton Key scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half and he had a team-high six rebounds.
Dayton: The Flyers will return home, where they are 15-3 since the start of last season, and will face Saint Mary’s on Saturday.
Alabama: After having its 16-game home winning streak against non-conference competition snapped, Alabama will attempt to start a new streak on Friday when it hosts Ball State.