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Elvis scores 10 of his 15 points in OT, No. 25 Dayton rallies to down VCU 91-86 to go 15-0 at home

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Kobe Elvis hit back-to-back 3-pointers and a pair of free throws in the last 1:09 of overtime to lift No. 25 Dayton to a 91-86 win over VCU in a white-knuckle final regular-season game Friday night.

Max Shulga hit a 3-pointer to get VCU within two points with 4 seconds left in OT, but Enoch Cheeks and DaRon Holmes II hit foul shots to seal it for Dayton (24-6, 14-4 Atlantic 10), which finished 15-0 on its home court.

“I’ve been doing this a long time, and that’s about the grittiest performance I’ve seen,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “I’m in awe of these guys.”

Elvis scored 10 of his 15 points in overtime as the Flyers fought back from a 17-point first-half deficit to tie the game at 70 in the last 2 1/2 minutes of regulation. Holmes finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Nate Santos had 21, leading all five Dayton starters in double-digit scoring.

“Just extremely confident,” said an emotional Elvis, who was recognized with two other Flyers seniors before the game. “The guys, they trust me to take big shots, just looking for me in transition.”

Zeb Jackson had 26 points, including 6 3-pointers in 14 attempts, for VCU (19-12, 11-7). Shulga finished with 14 points.

The notoriously slow-starting Flyers showed signs they might be ambushed again by the Rams, who had prevailed 49-47 in their last lethargic meeting on Feb. 9.

VCU bombed away from the 3-point stripe to start the game, hitting six from long range in the first 10 minutes but cooled off. The Rams jumped out to a 17-point lead at the 10-minute mark until Dayton, which turned the ball over nine times in the half, finally woke up.

A 10-2 run by the Flyers helped them climb back into the game. Dayton closed the deficit to 38-31 at the break but didn't lead in the game until the 5:57 mark of the second half.

“Really, in the first half when we went down by 17, we found a way to come close together and just figure it out,” said guard Koby Brea, who started in place of the injured Javon Bennett and finished with 18 points. “Understand that support and again we can come back again. We've done it before.”

BIG PICTURE

VCU: The Rams hit 18 3-pointers and probably deserved to win but let Dayton creep back in and outplay them in overtime.

Dayton: The Flyers will reach their goal of getting back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2017, regardless of whether they win the conference tournament. They are 21st in the NCAA evaluation rankings.

“This is March. This is when you get excited,” Grant said.

UP NEXT

Atlantic 10 tournament opens Tuesday in Brooklyn, New York. Schedule still to be determined.

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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball