DAYTON, Ohio – Chris Johnson scored 20 points and Dayton closed with a 17-9 run to knock off No. 16 Alabama 74-62 Wednesday, ruining Crimson Tide head coach Anthony Grant's homecoming.
Grant starred for the Flyers from 1983-87. Alabama fell behind 38-27 at halftime with star forward JaMychal Green on the bench most of the first half with two fouls. Green scored the Tide's first six points and finished with 12 on 6 of 9 shooting.
Dayton (6-3) led 56-40 with 11:52 to play when Alabama increased its defensive pressure to cut its deficit to 57-53 with 7:43 left.
Dayton point guard Kevin Dillard answered with consecutive 3-pointers and Dayton was on its way to its third win this season over a BCS conference team. The Atlantic-10 Flyers have now won nine of their last 10 games against BCS opponents.
The Flyers shot 60.9 percent from the floor and 10 of 19 from 3-point range to score the most points Alabama has allowed this season. Tide opponents were shooting just 33.3 percent from the field entering the game.
Josh Parker came off the Dayton bench to make 3 of 5 3-pointers and score 17 points. Dillard added 14 and Josh Benson 11.
Alabama, which lost its second straight game, was playing a true road game for the first time this season. The Tide finally found some momentum with a full-court, trapping defense. Green's steal at half court as he came up to trap Dayton's Devin Oliver led to a layup for Trevor Releford that cut Dayton's lead to 57-53 with 7:43 to play.
Alabama had extended its 2-3 zone, giving Dayton's offense problems. Then Dillard busted that zone with consecutive 3-pointers to push the lead to 63-53 with 6:09 left.
Dayton had lost its two previous games against Buffalo and Murray State. In the 84-55 home loss to Buffalo one week ago, Dayton shot 28.1 percent from the field in a sluggish effort. But the Flyers were hot from the start and shot 64 percent in the first half.
Dayton quickly jumped to a 46-29 lead in the second half on 3-pointers by Paul Williams and Johnson and a 15-footer by Benson. Dayton led 56-40 midway through the half when Alabama began to chip away on layups by Releford and Tony Mitchell to force a Dayton timeout with the Flyers up 56-45.
Alabama increased its defensive pressure out of the timeout and quickly cut its deficit to 56-49 on a steal and layup by Releford and a steal by Green that led to an easy two for Mitchell. Then it was 57-51 on another easy two for Releford.
Mitchell led Alabama with 18 points and Releford added 13. The Tide shot 50 percent from the floor, but made only 4 of 16 3-point shots and was outrebounded 26-24.