Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The state of Ohio has been kind to Dayton this season.
Two days after defending home court in a First Four win over Boise State, the Flyers drove 73 miles to Columbus and took care of Providence 66-53 to advance to the Round of 32.
Controversy surrounded Dayton's win on Wednesday, as it became the first team since 1987 to play an NCAA Tournament game on its home floor. Then, to add fuel to the fire, the 11th-seeded Flyers played in front of a virtual home crowd against the sixth-seeded Friars.
Dayton is now 19-0 in Ohio this season, with one more game still to go, a meeting with 3rd-seeded Oklahoma with a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line.
"I'm really proud of our guys," Dayton head coach Archie Miller said. "They just have an incredible toughness about them."
Dyshawn Pierre scored 20 points and anchored Dayton's defense, which held Big East leading scorer LaDontae Henton to 7-for-25 shooting. Jordan Sibert, playing through an injury on his shooting hand, added 15 points for the Flyers (27-8).
Dayton took 30 free throw attempts. Providence took just seven.
Henton, a former Dayton commit, finished a tremendous college career at Providence (22-12) with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
"We didn't play well," Providence head coach Ed Cooley said. "We didn't have it today. You have to credit Dayton."
Both teams shot 3-for-13 over the game's first 12 minutes, a slow-moving, offensively challenged start to the game. Dayton led 14-7 at the under-8 media timeout though after connecting on seven free throws and keeping the Friars off the line.
The scoring picked up late in the first half. Providence netted 13 in the last five minutes of the period, but still trailed 28-25 at halftime.
Darrell Davis and Pierre hit from deep on consecutive possessions near the midpoint of the second, giving Dayton its biggest lead of the contest at 44-35.
After the Friars countered with the next six points, Sibert and Pierre drilled crucial treys to send Dayton into the final media timeout with a 50-42 advantage. Then, the Flyers were given a gift with a questionable technical foul.
During the media timeout, Providence coach Ed Cooley pushed over a chair to fire up his team. He was called for a technical, and Dayton scored the next six points to put the game out of reach.
Dayton's matchup with Oklahoma on Sunday will be its sixth game in the last 10 days ... Dayton scored 17 points off 16 Providence turnovers ... Dayton was the only lower seed to win on Friday as 15 of the 16 winners were favorites.