Dayton’s epic run in the 2014 NCAA Tournament has come to an end. The Flyers fell to the Florida Gators 62-52 last night as the final Atlantic 10 team has been eliminated from the Dance. The A-10 closed out their tourney campaign with a 5-6 record.
Florida’s stellar defense was on display all night, and it allowed them to take control of the game very early. The Gators jumped out to a 17-10 lead, but UD was able to battle back and tie things up at 23. From there, Billy Donovan‘s squad went to work. UF ran off a 10-0 run and it was smooth sailing from there for the 1-seed as they took a 14-point lead into the locker room.
The Flyers got within eight in the second half but could never get closer as Florida advanced to their fifth Final Four in school history. The biggest difference in this one was inside. The Gators held a 37-26 edge on the glass and attempted 28 free throws to Dayton’s eight.
Dyshawn Pierre led UD with 18 points on 7-11 shooting, including 2-3 from deep. Devin Oliver added 12 points on four threes, but failed to convert a shot from two-point range. No other Flyer scored more than six points. Florida’s Scottie Wilbekin led all scorers with 23 points, and Patric Young chipped in with 12 to go along with four blocks.
The Gators will now advance to play the winner of UConn and Michigan State, with a trip to the National Championship on the line. As for the A-10… there’s always next year.