Friday April 2, 2010

We Are the Champions

The Flyers defeated 2009 NCAA men's basketball champions and perennial power North Carolina for its third National Invitational Tournament title.

The Dayton Flyers defeated North Carolina 79-68 Thursday in New York City's Madison Square Garden for its third National Invitation Tournament title.

Marcus Johnson led the Flyers, which also won the NIT in 1962 and 1968, with 20 points.

Dayton's victory ended a string of 10 postseason victories for North Carolina, which won the 2009 NCAA tournament.

The Flyers closed the first half with a 17-4 run to take a 45-32 lead into halftime.

They withstood a 12-1 North Carolina run during the first three minutes of the second half that cut Dayton's lead to 46-44.

The Tarheels trimmed Dayton's lead to two points on a pair of other occasions in the second half but could not get any closer.

Chris Johnson buried two three-pointers down the stretch to help the Flyers pull away from the Tarheels.

Johnson was among the four Flyers in double-figures. He finished with 14 points. Paul Williams had 16 points and Chris Wright pumped in 14.

As a team, the Flyers shot 48 percent from the field, including 11 three-pointers.

Dayton reached the title game by beating Illinois State, Cincinnati, Illinois and Ole Miss.

While the University is excited about this historic occasion, it celebrates with heavy hearts. Flyer athletics lost one of its own yesterday. Junior women's volleyball player Kacie Hausfeld and her father, Thomas, died in a plane crash south of Dayton.

For interviews, contact Doug Hauschild at 937-229-4390.