Pierre scores 23 points to lead Dayton past Eagles

PETE IACOBELLI AP Sports Writer Published:

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Freshman Dyshawn Pierre scored 23 points on 8-for-8 shooting to lead Dayton to an 87-71 victory over Boston College on Friday in the Charleston Classic.

The Flyers (2-1) and Pierre rebounded from an opening loss in the tournament to Colorado in a big way to advance to the fifth-place game Sunday. Pierre was 1 of 5 from the field against Colorado but came out quickly with 10 points in the opening half to help Dayton open a 37-26 lead.

The Flyers continued pushing the pace after the break, leading by 17 points.

Pierre made five 3-pointers and the only two foul shots he took.

The biggest drama down the stretch was if Pierre would miss. He never did, his last basket coming on a nifty up-and-under move on a baseline drive with 3:33 to go that gave the Flyers a 77-60 lead.

Pierre, in just his third college game, got the start and put his struggles against Colorado aside. "I really just tried to put that behind me," he said. "Today was a different game and I just came out and shot the ball."

Devin Oliver had 17 points, and Jalen Robinson added 15 for Dayton, which finished with five players in double figures.

Dayton coach Archie Miller was happy with his club's bounce-ball, although he thinks the Flyers are still giving up way too many easy baskets. "I thought our team responded really well," Miller said. "We did not play well yesterday."

But the Flyers found their shooting touch, going 34 of 55 from the field -- the best showing ever in the Charleston Classic's five seasons. Dayton's 61.8 percent surpassed the 59.2 percent showing (29 of 49) of St. Joseph's in a game with Tulsa last season.

"I thought tonight guys really trusted one another," Miller said.

Joe Rahon had 16 points to lead Boston College (1-2). The Eagles will play for seventh place Sunday.

Both teams were hoping to rebound from disappointing performances in their first games at TD Arena.

The Flyers of the Atlantic 10 Conference didn't make a basket in the final 5:44 in a 67-57 loss to Colorado on Thursday. Boston College held a five-point lead midway through the second against No. 16 Baylor before falling 84-74.

The Eagles of the Atlantic Coast Conference came out fast opening up a 19-14 lead against Dayton with less than 8 minutes gone. That's when the Flyers turned things up with a 21-6 run.

Robinson had 10 points in the surge, starting it with a pair of layups. Devin Oliver's layup put Dayton ahead for good, 24-23. Pierre followed with a 3-pointer and a layup before Robinson added two more in-close buckets. When Kevin Dillard hit a layup with 50 seconds left in the opening half, the Flyers were ahead 35-25 and would not be caught.

Boston College coach Steve Donahue was disappointed things got away from his club in the first half. But he understood he's still in the early stages of a rebuilding project. "We're in a growth mode," he said. "We're not there yet."