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Dayton vs. Syracuse: First-half analysis

By Tim Graham

In the 1980s, the Chicago White Sox's slogan was "Winning Ugly."

The Dayton Flyers seem to like that style, too.

For the second time in three days, the pesky, 11th-seeded Flyers are giving a pedigreed opponent problems. They lead the Syracuse Orange, 20-18, at halftime of their NCAA Tournament game in First Niagara Center.

No player has more than six points. Dayton is shooting 35 percent from the floor, while Syracuse is at 30 percent. Dayton has committed seven turnovers to Syracuse's six.

And Dayton led almost the entire half.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim was steaming when screamed for a timeout 8:28 into the game. Dayton was up, 11-4, after Vee Sanford made a jump shot in transition.

Syracuse didn't let the game get out of hand, thanks in part to some point-blank misses and careless turnovers from Dayton. Syracuse had multiple chances to take its first lead and finally did on a pair of Fair free throws with 2:48 left.

Streaky Syracuse guard Trevor Cooney, one of the stars from Thursday's victory over Western Michigan, has been cold tonight. Two of this three-point attempts weren't in the same zip code. Cooney has two points.

Dayton has demonstrated its depth already, using 11 players in the first half. Syracuse has used seven, with its five starters playing at least 16 minutes apiece.

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