EDITOR’S NOTE: Every Thursday we’ll dive into the archives to look back at University of Dayton basketball history.
The Dayton Flyers broke a 17-17 tie in the all-time series with George Washington by winning 72-66 Wednesday in Washington, D.C. They also won for the fourth time in 17 chances at the Charles E. Smith Center, ending a four-game losing streak in the building.
» TWENTY PHOTOS: Top shots from Wednesday night
Dayton’s comeback from a 33-11 deficit means the game will be long remembered, and it’s a similar story with many of the UD-GW games.
Here’s a look back at a wild 2009 matchup at the Smith Center. Until Wednesday, this was Dayton’s last victory there. This story by Doug Harris appeared in the Jan. 23, 2009, edition of the Dayton Daily News.
Flyers catch a break to beat GW
WASHINGTON — Dayton was down six points to George Washington with two minutes to go, but Chris Wright wasn't fretting.
"You never give up," Wright said. "We still had two minutes to go. It was going to come down to who could make the plays and who had the most willpower."
But Dayton pulled out a 63-61 win Thursday, Jan. 22, because the game also came down to who could execute a simple basketball exercise — like subbing.
Leading by one, GW was called for a technical foul with 21.9 seconds to go for having six players on the floor. Dayton's Marcus Johnson made two free throws and then added another when he was fouled sixth-tenths of a second later for a two-point lead.
The Flyers (17-2, 3-1 Atlantic 10) then survived two errant shots from the Colonials (6-10, 0-4) in the final seconds.
"We subbed in for the shooter, and that's all I know," said GW coach Karl Hobbs, who sent in Aaron Ware for Damian Hollis, who had just made the second of two foul shots for a 61-60 lead. "For some reason, it didn't happen."
When GW's Wynton Witherspoon saw the Colonials had six men on the floor, he tried to jump over the tables at press row to hide. But the refs called the technical, sending Johnson to the line.
"That's what you have to do on the road — sometimes you have to steal one," UD's Charles Little said.
Stat of the game: The Flyers made just 7-of-15 free throws.
Star of the game: Marcus Johnson had 17 points, 15 in the second half.
Quote: "My staff saw it and started saying six men on the court," UD coach Brian Gregory said. "I was worrying about getting the ball in. Unfortunately, I'd rather get the ball in bounds, run a play and score and win the game. ... But I've had my share of the other way. But that's a tough way to lose. They played their hearts out."