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Dayton downs Stanford to reach Elite Eight

Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Dayton has not danced this long in 30 years.

Jordan Sibert led the way with 18 points and the upstart Flyers thoroughly handled Stanford, 82-72, in a Sweet 16 battle of double-digit seeds from the South Region.

Eleven different players scored in an efficiently balanced attack for the 11th-seeded Flyers (26-10), who made 48.3 percent of their shots and assisted on 19 of their 28 made baskets.

"From top to bottom, they just kept coming and coming and coming," Dayton head coach Archie Miller said of his bunch. "The way they shared the ball, the way they moved the ball...that's what they've been about all year, so it's nice to see on the biggest stage, us be ourselves."

Kendall Pollard scored 12 points off the bench, Devin Oliver chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds and Matt Kavanaugh added 10 points for Dayton, which last reached the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in 1984, when it lost to Georgetown in the regional final.

They'll face another perennial power on Saturday in top-seeded Florida, which ousted fourth-seeded UCLA, XX-XX, in Thursday's nightcap at FedExForum.

Stanford's leading scorer, Chasson Randle, needed 21 shots to score 21 points, and the 10th-seeded Cardinal (23-13) had three other double-digit scorers in Dwight Powell, Stefan Nastic and Josh Huestis.

Powell finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, Nastic had 15 points before fouling out and Huestis netted 13, but Stanford only received two points from its short bench as opposed to Dayton getting 34 from its reserves.

"They're a deep team," Randle said of the Flyers. "They gave us different looks, and (it was) really tough tonight."

Stanford reached the Sweet 16 on the strength of its defense, as the Cardinal held New Mexico and Kansas well below their season averages in St. Louis, including an epic lockdown on Jayhawks star freshman Andrew Wiggins.

There was only a glimpse of that defense Thursday, however, and that was early in the second half when the Cardinal scored seven in a row to get within four.

Nastic made two free throws with 14:37 to play to cut Stanford's deficit to 49-45, but the center picked up his fourth foul a little later and had to sit during an 8-0 Dayton run that rebuilt the double-digit difference.

Dayton, which upset Ohio State and Syracuse to reach this stage, fended off one more Stanford rally as Powell's three-point play closed the gap to 64-58 with eight minutes on the clock.

Devon Scott answered with a three-point play of his own when he took Oliver's underhand pass under the basket and opened himself up with a pair of pump fakes for a lay-in while being fouled.

Randle missed from the perimeter at the other end, Kavanaugh followed with a jumper and Dayton cruised over the final seven minutes to keep its dream season alive.

The Flyers scored on four of their first five possessions of the game, and Stanford matched them basket for basket as Anthony Brown's 3-pointer evened things at 10-10 three minutes in.

Stanford went the next seven minutes without making a field goal, going 0- for-8 from the field, but stayed close by getting to the foul line and even led 19-18 when Huestis ended the drought with a layup

The Cardinal had no answer at the other end, though, as Dayton took control with a 16-4 flurry following Huestis' bucket.

Kavanaugh opened the four-minute stretch with consecutive makes inside, and frustrated Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins was hit with a technical foul with under six minutes left in a foul-filled half.

"That was more or less just trying to get my team going," Dawkins admitted. "We were kind of in a position where I thought we were losing momentum. ... It was a situation where I wanted to just get our guys fired up."

Dayton shot 47 percent in the opening 20 minutes and wound up taking a 42-32 lead into the locker room having assisted on 13 of 15 successful field goals.

In comparison, Stanford had four assists on nine field goals and shot 33 percent from the floor.

Game Notes

Sibert made four of Dayton's eight 3-pointers ... Former Cardinal football player and current member of Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks, Richard Sherman, as well as former Secretary of State and Stanford professor Condoleezza Rice were in attendance ... Stanford was playing in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008. The Cardinal have not reached the Elite Eight since 2001 ... Stanford shot 38.2 percent from the floor.

03/28 00:52:21 ET

Local & North Carolina state news from Raleigh, NC | NewsObserver.com
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