Dayton and Providence meet in second round of NCAA Tourney

Mar 20, 2015 - 2:40 PM Columbus, OH ( - With a win in the 2015 NCAA Tournament already under the belts, the Dayton Flyers continue on as they square off with the Providence Friars in second-round action of the East Region at Nationwide Arena on Friday night.

The winner will move on to third round on Sunday to face either 14th-seeded Albany or third-seeded Oklahoma.

Dayton played the rare role of visiting team in its own venue in Wednesday's first-round matchup with Boise State, and prevailed in come-from-behind fashion, 56-55. The Flyers, who are the 11th seed in the East and are a year removed from an Elite Eight appearance, improved to 18-17 all-time in the tournament. UD also improved to 26-8 this season, and to 17-0 at home. In all, the Flyers have won 22 straight home games, which is the seventh longest active home winning streak in the nation.

Providence brings a 22-11 record into this event, earning the No. 6 seed in the region. The Friars lost to fourth-ranked Villanova in last week's Big East Conference Tournament, giving them setbacks in two of their last three games. They are appearing in their 17th NCAA Tournament, where they own a 14-17 mark. PC's last win in the Big Dance was when it defeated UT-Chattanooga, 71-65, on March 21, 1997 to advance to the Elite Eight. The team has made two trips to the Final Four (1973 and 1987).

This bout marks the eighth time that these two schools have met in men's basketball, with Dayton holding a 5-2 series advantage.

Trailing by double digits in the first half, and by as many as seven points with less than four minutes remaining in regulation, the Flyers came storming back to stun Boise State in front of more than 12,500 frenzied fans at UD Arena on Wednesday night. Kendall Pollard scored 17 points to pace Dayton, which also got 13 points from Jordan Sibert, and 11 points and six assists from Scoochie Smith in earning the improbable victory. The Flyers shot 47.6 percent from the field compared to just 40 percent for the Broncos, who won the battle on the boards, 33-25.

For the season, Dayton is averaging 67.9 ppg while allowing 60.7 ppg, producing behind typical shooting outputs of .463 overall and .351 beyond the arc. The Flyers are led by a trio of double-digit scorers in Sibert (16.1 ppg), Pollard (12.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and Dyshawn Pierre (12.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 2.9 apg). As evidenced in the win over BSU, cleaning the glass has not been the Flyers' strength, as it is in the red in rebounding margin (-1.3), but it does a nice job of forcing the opposition into 13.5 turnovers per contest.

Providence has some of the Big East's top performers on its roster, beginning with the league's top scorer, LaDontae Henton. A 45.5 percent shooter who also adds 6.4 rpg and more than a steal per bout to his stat line, Henton is lighting up the scoreboard for just shy of 20 ppg (19.7). He gets help, and a significant amount at that, from the Big East's co-Player of the Year, Kris Dunn. The sophomore guard can not only fill the basket, doing so for 15.8 ppg, but he also gets his teammates involved in the action as much as possible by handing out a conference-best 7.6 apg. Dunn also led the league in steals (89) in being named the Big East co-Defensive Player of the Year as well.

The teams as a whole is putting up 70.2 ppg in hitting a decent 44.2 percent of its field goal attempts, but its 31.0 percent showing beyond the arc had it ranked last in the Big East. Defensively, the Friars permit 65.5 ppg, with foes converting 42.1 percent of their total shots and 33.3 percent of their long-range launches. PC is on the plus-side of the ledger in both rebounding (+3.9) and turnovers (+1.2).

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