Dayton 86, Minnesota 70

Kevin Dillard had 19 points, Chris Johnson added 18 and Dayton

hit 12 3-pointers as the Flyers rode a hot-shooting performance to

an 86-70 Old Spice Classic championship game victory over Minnesota

on Sunday night.

The Flyers (5-1) connected on 12 of their 27 3-point attempts

and shot 46 percent overall (28 of 60). Dillard also took home Most

Valuable Player honors.

Minnesota (6-1) played the final 17 minutes without leading

scorer and rebounder Trevor Mbakwe, who left the game after

sustaining a right leg injury.

Without his defensive presence underneath, the Flyers exploited

the middle of the floor both in their half-court sets and in

transition.

The Golden Gophers tried to make up for Mbakwe’s absence with

its own outside shooting, but connected on only 7 of their 18

attempts.

Austin Hollins led the Golden Gophers, who suffered their first

loss of the season, with 14 points. Julian Welch chipped in 12 for

Minnesota.

Mbakwe left the game with Minnesota trailing 45-36 after he

appeared to land awkwardly on his leg while battling for a rebound.

He stayed down on for several minutes afterward while being

attended to by trainers. When he got to his feet he avoided putting

any pressure on the leg as he was helped off the floor.

Mbakwe later returned to bench with an ice pack over his right

shin and knee. He left the arena on crutches and will have an

MRI.

The 6-foot-8 forward came into Sunday’s game averaging a

team-high 14.8 points and 10 rebounds.

The Flyers opened up as much as an 18-point lead in the second

half. The Golden Gophers got within 13 with 2:08 to play, but got

no closer.

Dayton led 37-28 at the break, thanks to a blinding offensive

spurt with just under nine minutes to play in the half.

The Flyers trailed 23-12 after Minnesota’s Oto Osenieks dropped

in a free throw to complete a three-point play.

But Dayton pushed the pace on several ensuing possessions and it

paid off as the Golden Gophers struggled to keep up with its guards

in the open floor.

The result was an 18-2 run that put the Flyers out in front

30-25. They then finished the half outscoring Minnesota 7-3.

The Golden Gophers shot 50 percent in the opening 20 minutes (11

of 22), but had only a pair of 3-pointers. Dayton shot just 42

percent (15 of 35), but made up for it going 7 of 17 from beyond

the arc.

Dayton plays eight of its next nine games at home beginning

Wednesday against Buffalo. Minnesota has a six-game home stand up

next, beginning with Big Ten-ACC Challenge matchup with Virginia

Tech also on Wednesday.