Dayton Athletics

Jordan Sibert’s last-second three-pointer pushes Dayton past IPFW (VIDEO)

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Up three in the final seconds, the age-old question for teams in that situation is whether they decide to give the foul or defend straight up. That’s the question IPFW had to address in the final seconds of their game at Dayton Saturday afternoon, with the Mastodons holding an 80-77 lead after a pair of Mo Evans free throws with just over nine seconds remaining.

Following a timeout IPFW decided to foul, sending Dayton’s Khari Price to the line for a pair, and after he split those two free throws it seemed as if the strategy would work in the Mastodons’ favor. But a wild pass led to a turnover at mid-court, and Jordan Sibert’s three-pointer with less than a second remaining gave the Flyers a seemingly improbable 81-80 win.

“Just do whatever we could to get the ball back as quickly as possible,” Sibert told NBC Sports over the phone of the strategy following Price’s free throw. “Coach [Archie Miller] set up a play to get a turnover and try to get a quick bucket.”

Once the turnover occurred the Flyers wasted no time getting in position to go for the win, with Kyle Davis finding Sibert on the left elbow for the winning basket.

“I was thinking about taking the three the entire time,” said Sibert. “I knew the game situation, that a two would tie it, but I worked hard on my three-point shooting and I was very confident. I know that Kyle and Khari are very unselfish, so I knew that if I could get to an open area they would find me.

“They found me, and I was able to shoot my shot.”

Sibert finished the game with ten points, two assists and two steals, with the biggest performance of the afternoon being turned in by sophomore wing Dyshawn Pierre. Pierre finished the game with a career-high 24 points to go along with eight rebounds and four assists in 33 minutes of action, and his play will be key this season as the Flyers look to improve their standing in the Atlantic 10.

“It was amazing,” Sibert said of Pierre’s performance. “It was just normal Dyshawn, seeing his mismatch and being able to take advantage of it. Dyshawn’s a great person and a great competitor, and today he was able to take advantage of his matchup and that’s what we’re going to need if we’re going to win games.”

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.