Ohio State Defeats Dayton in NIT Quarterfinal

The game setting seemed surreal.  After going to 6 Ohio State games and 6 Dayton Flyer basketball games this season, I couldn’t believe the 2 teams would be playing each other in an NIT Quartefinal Matchup in front of a 19,000 plus sold out crowd at Value City Arena in Columbus Wednesday night.

None of the opposing teams that Ohio State played at home this season and in recent years had as big of fanbase and as much noise from an away team in the arena as the Dayton Flyers did Wednesday night. The Dayton Flyer Faithful made up a good amount in the crowd and you could even hear the Dayton Flyer Pep Band and Dayton Flyer fans chanting D-A-Y-T-O-N! , Lets Go Flyers!, and other types of chants Dayton does at home games as loud as Ohio State chants around the arena.  It was amazing to see how many UD fans were in the crowd and it was almost as if the 2 bands and noise of both fan bases were competing with each other.

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Dayton played Ohio State tough in the first half and went into the half leading 31-30. In the second half, Dayton had some defensive lapses and fell apart as Ohio State began the second half on a 13-4 run and would get hot in the second half with Jon Diebler and Jamar Butler hitting a few threes to pull away clearly and have the game won by the 5 minute mark from Dayton. The final score Ohio State 74 Dayton 63.

Kosta Koufous was too much for the smaller Dayton squad as he could make moves and take it inside and shoot from the outside as well to lead Ohio State with 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting and 5 rebounds.  The interesting stat was Dayton outrebounded Ohio State 35-25. 

Jamar Butler added 12 points, Evan Turner contributed 11 points, and Jon Diebeler scored 10 points off the bench for the Buckeyes.

Brian Roberts finished his last game wearing a Flyer uniform with 20 points on 8-of-20 shooting and 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.  Brian Roberts finished 4th on Dayton’s all time career scoring and will go down as one of the greatest Dayton Flyer players ever to wear a uniform.  Unforutanetly Roberts never go to play in the NCAA tournament, but at least he finished 1 season in his 4 year career with a post-season appearance. 

Chris Wright scored 12 points and Charles Little added 10 points and 7 rebounds for Dayton.

The Dayton Flyers finished the season with a 23-11 overall record. 

As the Yahoo sports article says, Ohio State will end the season right where the season started – A trip back to Madison Square Garden.  Ohio State played in the pre-season NIT and made it all the way to the championship before losing to Texas A&M in the title game.  Hopefully, this time in the post-season NIT, Ohio State will make it all the way to the title game and not lose in the title game like they have in football and basketball.

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