DAYTON, Ohio (AP)Mustapha Amzil and DaRon Holmes II each scored 20 points, and No. 24 Dayton pulled away late for a 74-62 win over SMU on Friday night.
Kobe Elvis and Mike Sharavjamts each scored 10 points, and Toumani Camara had a career-high 18 rebounds as Dayton (2-0) took down the Mustangs for the first time in three seasons.
Zach Nutall had 20 points and Samuell Williamson added 14 for SMU (1-1), which shot 34% after hitting 50% of its shots in a win over Texas A&M-Commerce on Monday night.
The Mustangs scrapped with the Flyers until the last few minutes.
SMU tied the game with 5:05 left when Williamson hit a pair of free throws. The Mustangs got within one on Nutall’s jumper with 2:36 left but couldn’t get closer.
Amzil hit a 3-pointer with 2:12 left and the Flyers controlled the game from there. Amzil sealed it when he was fouled on a long-range shot and sank all three free throws to give the Flyers a 71-62 lead with 48 seconds left.
”The thing that impressed me most was that they stayed poised,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. ”This was a back-and-forth, highly contested game. I think we had at one point a 13-point lead in the second half that they erased.
”I think our guys understood what they needed to do. They didn’t get rattled,” he said.
Dayton went 2 for 14 from 3-point range in the first half and finished 8 of 26 on 3s. The Flyers shot 41% from the floor.
After an 18-3 run in the middle of the first half, it looked as if Dayton might start to run away with it. But SMU scored the next seven, including a 3-pointer by Nutall, while Dayton missed 10 straight shots, half of them 3-point attempts.
Holmes finally broke a 6 1/2-minute scoring drought for the Flyers. A layup by Nutall and a 3-pointer by Zhuric Phelps cut the Dayton lead to 29-24 at the half.
”We were clawing a little bit, and we didn’t make some plays and make some shots down the stretch, but a hell of a job by them,” SMU first-year coach Rob Lanier said.
SMU: With a completely rebuilt roster from last season, the Mustangs are still getting used to playing together. If they had eliminated some the sloppiness, they might have played the Flyers to the buzzer.
Dayton: With most of their starters back, the Flyers see the window open for their first NCAA tournament appearance in six years. Point guard Malachi Smith has missed the first two games with an ankle injury and it’s not clear when he’ll return.
SAVE THE DRAMA
Sharavjamts was the first Dayton player to be handed a technical foul for flopping. The NCAA last summer approved allowing officials to call that foul and assess one shot. Sharavjamts wasn’t touched by a defender but fell backward onto the court after a missed 3-point attempt. Phelps sank the free throw, but Sharavjamts responded by hitting a 3 on Dayton’s next possession.
SMU: Hosts New Mexico on Tuesday.
Dayton: The Flyers go on the road for the first time this season, playing at UNLV on Tuesday night.
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