By David Leveridge – Bluegrass Sports Nation coverage team.
South Region Game 1 Wichita State and Dayton Flyers.
March Madness is the most exciting month of the year for any one that is a college basketball fan. The game between Wichita State and Dayton was no exception. The Shockers took part in the third of 4 games Played @ Bankers Life Field House. The game featured the Wichita State Shockers against the Dayton Flyers.
Both teams have at least 24 wins and only 11 losses combined entering the NCAA Tournament. Arguably, both teams were under seated and both can make arguments to be a higher seed. Dayton Entered tonight’s game as the # 7 Seed in the South Region. Dayton has a record of 24 wins and 7 losses. Dayton is coached by Archie Miller. Dayton Started 3 guards and 2 forwards. #3 Kyle Davis a Senior Guard, #4 Charles Cooke a red- shirt Senior guard, #11 Scoochie Smith another Senor Guard, #20 Xeyrius Williams a Sophomore Guard, and Kendall Pollard a Senior Forward. Wichita State was a 10 seed with a 30 and 4 record. Wichita is coached by Gregg Marshall. Wichita started 2 Guards, 2 forwards, and 1 Center. #33 Conner Frankamp a red- shirt Junior guard, #11 Landry Shamet a red- shirt Freshmen Guard, #1 Zach Brown a Junior Forward, #32 Markis McDuffie a Sophomore forward and #24 Shaquille Morris a red-shirt Junior Center. Wichita State would go on to win the win game by 6 points with a score of 64-58.
First Half Action
In the First Half the teams traded baskets and both teams was able to counter when the other team would score. Scoochie Smith of Dayton was outstanding in the first half scoring 14 points while connecting on 3 for 6 from the 3 point line. Smith was the leading scorer for the half on either side. Wichita State had a more Balanced Scoring distribution. 2 players each had five points, #00 Rashard, Kelly and #01 Zach, Brown each had 5 points. In the closing moments of the first half the game got extremely interesting and had the feel of March Madness. Wichita State #0 Rashard Kelly hits a three point basket as time expires to cut the lead to 2 points at the half. Dayton finishes the half on a 5-3 run leading the Shocker’s by 2 points Dayton 29, Wichita State 27
The second half started and the teams continued to trade baskets with neither team able to pull away. With 14:00 minutes left in the first half, Dayton Scoochie Smith hits a 3 point basket giving the Flyers a point lead. The lead wouldn’t last long as Wichita was able to hit consecutive 3 point attempts giving the Shockers a 3 point lead with 11:56 left on the clock. With 9:33 left in the half, Dayton had a 1 point lead 42-41, the fans on both sides come alive and the both were cheering extremely loud for their teams. Wichita State was able to get a little breathing room with 5:31 left in the Game, The Shockers were up 6 points based on some good 3 point shooting from their guards. Wichita State 51, Dayton 46. The game would stay at a 3 point lead, until Wichita State goes to the charity stripe. #11 Shamet, makes the first and missed the second. Wichita retained the ball on the rebound and returned to the line. With 2:37 Left in the game, Wichita State was up 7. Wichita State 55, Dayton 48. Dayton was able to counter with a 3 cutting the lead to 4, with 1:45 left in the game. Wichita State # 33 Frankcamp was able to hit a 3 point basket, but Dayton #11 Smith answered on the other end with a 2 point basket , cutting the lead to 5 with 1:14 left in the game. The closing moments were decided with Wichita State shooting free throws, Wichita was able to extend its lead and win the game by 6 points.
In conclusion the game was a very entertaining game that wasn’t decided until the closing moments with Wichita State pulling out a hard fought victory. Wichita State was able to get a lead late in the second half and hit free throws down the stretch. Dayton Scoochie Smith led both teams in scoring and finished with a season high of 25 points. The Shockers were able to out rebound the Dayton flyers by 18 rebounds, with the total Wichita State 47, Dayton 29, this also contributed to Wichita State advancing.