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Tulsa Upsets Dayton

March 21, 2003|From Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. — Jason Parker, Kevin Johnson and Dante Swanson shot the fourth-seeded Dayton Flyers right out of the NCAA tournament.

Parker scored 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting, Swanson was eight of 15 for 24 points and Johnson added 16 points on a seven-of-10 effort as 13th-seeded Tulsa surprised Dayton, 84-71, Thursday night at the Spokane Arena.

Keith Waleskowski had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Dayton (24-6), which won the Atlantic 10 tournament last weekend. Ramod Marshall scored 21 and Sean Finn had 12.

The Flyers came back from an 18-point deficit by tightening their defense late in the first half and early in the second. Tulsa (23-9) went scoreless for 3:29 midway through the second half, and Dayton's 9-3 burst made it a game again.

Nate Green's two free throws with 11:33 to play pulled the Flyers to 57-53, and it was 66-62 with 6:44 remaining when Marshall sliced down the lane and scored.

It helped Dayton's comeback that the Golden Hurricane didn't shoot a free throw until there was 6:09 remaining.

The Flyers kept coming, tying the score at 67 when Brooks Hall came off a screen and swished a three-pointer with 5:15 to go.

The Flyers had a disputed call go against them with 2:04 to play. Finn slammed home a miss by Hall, but the basket was ruled offensive interference.

Television replays seemed to show Finn's hand wasn't over the cylinder.

With the score tied at 69, Swanson completed a three-point play to re-establish control for Tulsa.

Neither team could seize control, though, until the Hurricane closed with a 12-2 run.

Tulsa shot 57%, bolstered by a torrid first half in which it made 11 baskets in a row.

Tulsa won the Western Athletic Conference tournament for the first time in seven years of conference membership and came into the NCAAs on a hot streak.

Dayton had won 20 of 23 games and six in a row. But some questioned how the Flyers would perform away from UD Arena, where they were 17-1, and they seemed out of their comfort zone for much of the night. Dayton finished 7-5 away from home this season.

The Flyers shot 36% in the first half and, despite closing the opening 20 minutes with a 15-9 run, never recovered.

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