Elvis, Holmes combine for 55 to lead Dayton past Cincinnati

An old rivalry was renewed on Saturday night inside Heritage Bank Center downtown Cincinnati, as the Bearcats took on Dayton in the Hoops Classic presented by Altafiber and Caresource.

The meeting between the two programs marked the first meeting since 2010, and 92nd overall.

Cincinnati won the tip and opened the game with a Fredrick to Bandaogo oop dunk on the first possession of the game. Fredrick drained a 3 on the next possession to give the Cats an early 5-0 lead.

(Photo: Taylor Keeton)

Bandaogo converted an and one to push Cincinnati's lead out to 8-3 but a 7-0 run by Dayton gave the Flyers a 10-8 lead. 

The two teams were tied at 10 at the first media stop as the Bearcats missed 5 consecutive field goal attempts prior to an Ody Oguama turn around jumper to tie the score at 10. 

The next 6:32 was a back and forth affair that saw both teams answer with big shots to keep the other from pulling away. 

Dayton extended their lead to 15-11 but SImas Lukosius hit a three and Jizzle James answered a DaRon Holmes bucket with a 3-pointer to tie things at 17.

With 9:10 remaining in the first half, Dayton led 20-19 with Cincinnati going 2-for-5 from the free throw line being the difference. 

A three minute scoring drought for the Bearcats allowed Dayton to extend their lead to 24-19 but Dan Skillings ended the drought with an and one to cut the Flyers lead to 24-21 with 7:35 remaining in the first half.

Jamille Reynolds checked in for the first time as a Bearcat out of the under 8 media timeout and got his first two points on an offensive rebound and put back dunk to cut the Flyers lead to 24-23.

Dayton held a 26-25 advantage at the final media stop of the half.

(Photo: Taylor Keeton)

DaRon Holmes and Kobe Elvis combined for 22 first half points and Dayton made their final 3 shots of the half to take a 35-29 lead at the half. 

Other than struggling from the free throw line (2-for-6), UC also made just 3-of-12 attempts from 3 in the first half as they couldn't quite figure out how to attack the Dayton zone and get easy points at the rim. 

Two and a half minutes in to the second half, Dayton had extended their lead to 42-31 after a Kobe Elvis three.

Cincinnati missed four consecutive field goals leading to a 7-0 Dayton run over :52 seconds to allow the Flyers to pull away to start the second half.

Day Day Thomas and Jizzle James cut the Dayton lead to 7 twice with driving finishes in the paint but Dayton made 4-of-5 field goal attempts to keep their lead at 9, 48-39, with 14:31 remaining in the game. 

(Photo: Taylor Keeton)

Dayton would extended their lead to 56-41 on an and one by Nate Santos and 3-pointer by Kobe Brea, his fourth of the game. The Flyers' run was aided by a field goal drought that lasted over 4 minutes for the Bearcats

The Flyers continued to pour it on as they seemingly weren't missing from anywhere on the floor. With 7:33 remaining, the Flyers led 65-48 and were 18-for-20 from the free throw line, compared to 7-of-13 for the Bearcats.


Five straight points by Simas Lukosius cut Dayton's lead to 71-61 with 5:03 left in the game but Cincinnati missed their next 9 field goal attempts and couldn't take advantage of the momentum.

DaRon Holmes made one of two free throws and sunk a 3-pointer from the top of the key to extend the Dayton lead to 76-62 with 1:55 remaining to end any potential threat of UC making a come back. 

Final Score:

Dayton 82 Cincinnati 68

Stats and takeaways:

The duo of DaRon Holmes (28 pts) and Kobe Elvis (27 pts) combined for 55 points tonight with Elvis also going 14-14 from the free throw line. Cincinnati really struggled to defend these two and put Elvis on the line a lot because they simply couldn't defend him. As a team, Dayton made 28-of-30 free throws. Wes Miller said post game that was simply unacceptable to foul as much as his team did. Koby Brea finished with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from 3. He came in to the game shooting 49% from 3 and Cincinnati still lost him a few times and gave him good looks from outside. 

- The shooting numbers for Cincinnati tonight were not pretty. The Bearcats shot 27-of-73 from the field (37%), 6-of-25 from the 3-point line (24%), and made just 8-of-16 free throws. In a game where you are playing arguably the best offensive team on your non-conference schedule, you simply have to be better. Wes Miller's squad really struggled to find a way to effectively attack the zone and also struggled at times against Dayton's physicality defensively. 

- UC did manage to out-rebound Dayton 41-34 and turned 20 offensive rebounds in to 20 second chance points.

- Simas Lukosius led Cincinnati in scoring with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field He was also able to knock down 3-of-8 three-point shots.

- Day Day Thomas finished with 12 points but struggled with his outside shot, going 1-for-5, He has shown an elite ability to get to the rim and needs to rely on that more. Cincinnati is at their best when he is getting down hill and attacking.

- Aziz Bandaogo had his second straight double double (10 points, 12 rebounds) but he really struggled at times to defend DaRon Holmes. After an 8-for-12 showing at the FT line against Bryant, he made just 2-of-6 attempts tonight. Several of the misses came at crucial points where Cincinnati could have tied or taken a lead. The lost momentum finally caught up to the Bearcats in the second half. 

- With the loss, UC drops to 8-2, while Dayton improves to 8-2 with the win,

Final Thoughts:

Just an all around bad game for Cincinnati. They really struggled offensively against Dayton's zone and their pressure sped the Cats up at times and led to silly mistakes or turnovers. Defensively, Wes Miller stated post game that the interior defense was bad tonight, which was frustrating given UC's size, athleticism, and length inside. Vik Lakhin gave UC a 25-24 lead with 5:09 remaining in the first half. Kobe Elvis answered with a second chance jumper with 4:09 left in the first half and Dayton never looked back from there.

Postgame Video:

Up Next:

Tuesday 12/19 v Merrimack at Fifth Third Arena



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