Men’s Basketball Erased 19-Point Deficit, but Fell in Closing Seconds to Dayton, 74-73
DAVIDSON, N.C. – After Davidson rallied from 19 down to tie the score, Josh Cunningham hit a free throw with 2.2 seconds left to lift Dayton over the Wildcats, 74-73, Tuesday evening at John M. Belk Arena.
The setback ended a 17-game home winning streak for Davidson, which falls to 19-7 overall and 10-3 in the A-10. Each of the Wildcats’ three losses in league play has come in the closing seconds and by a total of five points.
Trailing 63-44 with 9:38 to play, Davidson stormed back with a 27-8 streak capped by a Kellan Grady steal and two-handed jam to even the score 71-71 with 1:11 remaining.
The teams traded layups the next two trips before Cunningham was fouled and made the second of his two free throws. The ‘Cats had one final look, but Grady’s long 3-pointer caromed off.
Cunningham made all six of his attempts from the floor and hit 9-of-10 at the line to lead the way for the Flyers with 21 points. Obi Toppin added a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Jordan Davis and Ryan Mikesell scored 15 and 10, respectively.
Jon Axel Gudmundsson paced Davidson with 26 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Grady (18) and KiShawn Pritchett (13) also scored in double figures for the Wildcats, who shot 56.3 percent in the second half.
Davidson finished 17-of-20 at the line and held a 36-29 advantage on the glass, including 10 at the offensive end, leading to 15 second-chance points.
Dayton (17-9, 9-4 A-10), which held the Wildcats to just 7-of-25 shooting in the opening 20 minutes, used a pair of first-half runs to grab a 37-25 advantage at the break.
The Flyers finished the game shooting 48 percent (24-50) and went 19-for-26 from the charity stripe.
Davidson will hit the road for two straight beginning with a 9 p.m. contest at Rhode Island Friday.