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Dayton unable to get past Xavier

Xavier students put up posters of the six U.S. presidents in office since Dayton last won a game here in the rivalry.

If Barack Obama hadn’t been re-elected, it would have been seven.

Click for more Dayton-Xavier series stats

The Flyers gave up a season-high 20 offensive rebounds and ended up with 18 fewer boards overall in dropping a 66-61 decision to Xavier at the Cintas Center on Wednesday.

A potential game-tying 3-pointer by UD’s Matt Derenbecker went down and rattled out with 1.3 seconds left.

The streak lives. UD hasn’t won on the road in the rivalry since 1981, a span of 28 games.

There were four lead changes in the final 2:45. A 3-pointer by Dyshawn Pierre gave UD a 59-58 edge. An offensive rebound and follow-up by Travis Taylor made it 60-59. A skyhook by Jalen Robinson with 1:26 left put the Flyers back in front by a point.

But Semaj Christon swished a jumper with one minute left, and Dayton couldn’t answer. Kevin Dillard missed an off-balance shot in the lane, and UD fouled with Taylor with 24.6 seconds left.

Although he missed the 1-and-1, teammate Jeff Robinson grabbed the offensive rebound. Dee Davis then missed a 1-and-1, and UD couldn’t corral the rebound again. Spot a theme here?

Fouling Davis again, he made two for a 64-61 lead with 18.2 seconds left. UD got a shot it wanted from Derenbecker, who had hit three 3-pointers, but it rimmed out.

Justin Martin made two foul shots for the final points.

Vee Sanford had 16 points and Dillard 12 for UD (12-8, 2-4 Atlantic 10). Davis had 14 points and was named the game’s MVP for Xavier (12-8, 5-2).

After trailing by as many as seven in the first half and four at halftime, the Flyers took a 38-36 lead on a drive by Sanford with 17:47 to go. Senior point guard Dillard, after a scoreless first half (the fifth time this season he’s been shut out in the opening 20 minutes), banged in a pair of 3-pointers to give the offense some life.

But the Flyers went five minutes without scoring in one stretch and allowed the Musketeers to pull away to a 47-40 lead with a run of six straight points, the last two on yet another offensive rebound and put-back lay-up from Taylor with 11:05 to go.

UD wasn’t done, though. Sanford made it a two-point game on a drive with 5:50 left, setting up the frantic finish.

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