The Dayton Flyers fell behind early in the second half but came back to beat St. John’s, 88-81, in the semifinals of the Shriners Children’s Hospitals Charleston Classic Friday afternoon.
UD trailed 40-38 at halftime and was down by as much as six points, 48-42, with 17:52 to play. The Flyers outscored St. John’s, 14-8, to tie the game at 56-56 on Isaac Jack’s layup with 12:44 remaining.
The Red Storm took a 59-58 lead on Joel Soriano’s layup, but Dayton scored nine unanswered points to take control of the game.
Enoch Cheeks’ layup put UD ahead for good, 60-59, and then DaRon Holmes II followed with a three-pointer to expand the advantage to 63-59.
Holmes and Koby Brea each made a pair of foul shots to increase the lead to 67-59.
Santos scored five straight points to help stretch the lead to double digits, 75-65. Brea’s put back dunk increased it to 81-72 with 3:34 left. Santos’ three-point gave Dayton their largest lead of the game, 84-72.
Holmes led five UD players in double figures with 14 of his 21 points in the second half. He also shot 8-9 from the foul line. Nate Santos added 18 while Enoch Cheeks, Kobe Elvis, and Koby Brea each scored 10 points. Elvis had five assists while Brea grabbed six rebounds.
The Flyers also got contributions off the bench from Zimi Nwokeji and Petra Padegimas with five points each. Isaac Jack added four.
Dayton improves to 3-1 on the season.
The Flyers will play No. 6 Houston in the finals of the Shriners Hospital Charleston Classic Sunday night at 8:30 p.m.
Pregame coverage on WHIO Radio begins at 7:30 p.m. Larry Hansgen and Keith Waleskowski will have the call.
The game will also be carried here on WHIO.com.