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Basketball Falls to Dayton, 70-67, in Opening Game of Charleston Classic

Jalen Reed led the Tigers with 16 points while shooting 7-9 from the field. Photo by Beau Brune

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Basketball Falls to Dayton, 70-67, in Opening Game of Charleston Classic

CHARLESTON, South Carolina – For the second time in a week, a three-pointer with less than five seconds left was the difference as Dayton rallied in the final nine minutes to score a 70-67 decision over LSU in the opening round of the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic Thursday at TD Arena.

The Tigers will now face North Texas in the consolation round game at 11:30 a.m. ET (10:30 a.m. Baton Rouge time). North Texas lost to St John’s in the opening game of the day, 53-52.

The loss overshadowed another strong offensive game from sophomore Jalen Reed who had his career scoring high for the second straight game with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including one three-pointer and a free throw. He fouled out with 3:42 to play in the game.

Tyrell Ward hit all three distance attempts in scoring 12 points, while Will Baker had 10 points.

The two teams played fairly evenly in the first half in a game with five ties and 11 lead changes. The Tigers took the lead into intermission on a Carlos Stewart bucket with four seconds to play, 32-30.

LSU would make it a 10-0 run carrying over to the second half scoring the first eight points on a three by Mike Williams III, a deuce from Will Baker and then a three-ball from distance by Baker to make it 40-30. The run at the start of the second half eventually reached 14-2 in the first 3:13 of the second half as LSU built a 46-32 advantage.

LSU hit 5-of-6 field goals to open the half and all three shots from distance while Dayton was 0-of-6 from the field and 0-of-3 from the arc.

The Tigers continued to hold Dayton at bay, building a 60-45 lead with 9:07 to play as Reed made a layup, was fouled and then added a free throw.

But Dayton gradually began to find its offensive flow against LSU, getting two layups and a jumper to cut the Tigers lead to 60-51 with 6:36 left when LSU called timeout.

Reed would make a jumper out of the timeout to get the lead back to 11 at 62-51, but the Tigers got stuck on 62 for some four minutes as Dayton in all went on a 19-2 run that gave them a 64-62 lead with 3:42 still to play.

LSU tried to assert itself against as Ward made a three-pointer to give LSU back the lead, 65-64, with 2:14 left Dayton missed a three-pointer and Derek Fountain forced his way inside for a layup and a 67-64 lead with 1:25 to play.

Dayton used a timeout at this point. The Flyers missed a shot but got the offensive rebound, something that had been a problem for LSU much of the night. Javon Bennett then missed a three but Dayton controlled the ball as LSU couldn’t grab it as it went out of bounds. At that point, Koby Brea hit a second chance three and the game was tied with 48.2 seconds.

LSU’s Trae Hannibal tried to go down the lane but turned the ball over on a travel to Dayton with 22.7 remaining. The Flyers got the ball to Nate Santos who buried the three with 4.1 seconds to play to give Dayton a 70-67 lead.

The Tigers, after a timeout, tried to get a shot up but a rushed three-pointer by Stewart was short ending the contest.

Santos, who made three treys, finished with 19 points and nine boards, while Bennett had 16 points (4 treys) and Brea 13, including three from distance. Enoch Cheeks had 10 rebounds.

Dayton out rebounded the Tigers, 35-28, including 14-4 on the offensive boards. At the end of the first half, Dayton had a 7-0 advantage in offensive boards.

Dayton shot 39.3 percent for the game (22-of-56) and 11-of-34 outside the arc (32.4%). The Tigers shot 26-of-49 for the game, 53.1 percent (7-of-16 from distance (43.8%).

The loss ended an 18-game winning streak over the last several years when LSU shoots better than 50 percent in a game.

The Tigers had a 28-18 advantage in points in the paint, but Dayton had an 18-7 advantage in points off turnovers, capitalizing on 15 Tiger turnovers. Dayton turned it over 11 times.

For the game there were seven ties and 14 lead changes.

Friday’s game will be broadcast on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network with John Brady and Colin Lacy, sitting in for Chris Blair. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

Coach Matt McMahon during the post-game of the LSU Sports Radio Network:

On the play of Jalen Reed…
“I thought he was terrific. We were able to play through him offensively. He did a good job of taking advantage of some mismatch situations and getting to the basket, playing strong off two feet and finishing some plays. He knocked down a big three early, I thought he played really well. That hurt us, him going out of the game, when he fouled out, we needed his ball handling and playmaking ability there at the forward spot.”

On the intensity of the team…
“The guys played their tails off, that’s what makes it a tough pill to swallow that we couldn’t close the deal. The turnovers obviously hurt us there in the second half and some of the second shot opportunities. Even when Dayton took the lead after some unforced errors there, our guys responded and took the lead right back. I was proud of our fight and the energy and comradery we played with, just disappointed we were unable to finish the last minute there.”

On the quick turnaround before game two against North Texas…
“That’s the biggest key for us, I know we’ve got a disappointed locker room, but we tip it off in less than 17 hours against one of the best defensive teams in the country. Really physical, tough, hard-nosed group, they put a lot of pressure on the rim with their ability to drive the ball. Really talented team and it will be a physical game tomorrow, so we have to turn the page quickly.”