Flyers and Sooners mix it up in third-round action

Mar 22, 2015 - 2:24 PM Columbus, OH ( - Already with a pair of wins under their belt in the 2015 NCAA Tournament, the Dayton Flyers hope to keep the good times rolling when they take on the Oklahoma Sooners at Nationwide Arena on Sunday evening for the right to move on to the Sweet 16.

Awaiting the winner in the next round will either be the seventh-seeded Michigan State Spartans or second-seeded Virginia Cavaliers.

Dayton, the 11th seed in the East Region, opened the tourney on Wednesday night on its home floor, as the visiting team no less, and came from behind to take down Boise State (56-55). That was followed by an easier win over Providence in Friday's second round (66-53), marking the team's fourth win in its last five games and seventh in its last nine overall. The Flyers reached the Elite Eight in last year's NCAA Tournament, and they are now 19-17 all- time in the event.

The No. 3 seed in the East, Oklahoma improved to 23-10 on the season and 36-28 all-time in the NCAA Tournament by upending Albany in Friday's second round, 69-60. Playing in the tourney for the third straight year and the 29th time overall, the Sooners are hoping to reach their fifth Final Four and third championship game (1947, 1988). OU has won three of its last four games and six of its last eight heading into Sunday's matchup.

Oklahoma is 2-1 in the all-time series with Dayton, but the lone meeting between the two during the NCAA Tournament, taking place in 1984, went to the Flyers in an 89-85 final.

Dyshawn Pierre and Jordan Sibert both hit a trio of 3-pointers, the former netting a game-high 20 points and the latter finishing with 15 as Dayton beat Providence on Friday. Sibert, who had 13 points in the opening win over Boise State, also grabbed nine rebounds for the Flyers, who made good on 42.9 percent of their field goal attempts, which included a 34.8 percent showing beyond the arc. Scoochie Smith chipped in 11 points for UD, which held the Friars to 33.9 percent field goal efficiency, despite them knocking down 10 treys. PC was just 3-of-7 at the foul line, with its best two players, Big East scoring champ LaDontae Henton and the league's co-Player of the Year Kris Dunn, going a combined 11-of-39 from the field (.282). The Flyers suffered a 39-32 rebounding deficit, but took advantage of 16 turnovers by the Friars.

TaShawn Thomas scored 18 points, Buddy Hield, the reigning Big 12 Player of the Year, had 15 and Ryan Spangler nearly logged a double-double as he tallied nine points and 11 rebounds, all of which was needed for Oklahoma to get past Albany on Friday. The Sooners shot 43.9 percent from the field, but went only 7-of-24 from 3-point range. Fortunately, the Great Danes went 8-of-25 from distance, and dropped only 37.7 percent of their total shots in the game. OU doubled up UA in points from the foul line, 12-6, and it claimed a 40-34 edge in rebounds. Thanks to 14 offensive caroms, the Sooners held a 23-11 edge in second-chance points. A 34-28 advantage in points in the paint also helped secure the favorable outcome.

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