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Ohio State loses to Dayton, 60-59, after Aaron Craft’s last-second shot is off mark

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The swan song has been sung for the Ohio State Buckeyes.

As senior guard Aaron Craft’s desperation shot at the buzzer fell hopelessly to the floor, so did his career at OSU, as the No. 6-seed Buckeyes fell to No. 11-seed Dayton, 60-59, Thursday.

Craft made a tough layup in the lane with less than 20 seconds to play to put his team ahead by one, but a running layup by Dayton redshirt-senior guard Vee Sanford proved to be the difference as the Flyers — and ex-Buckeye guard Jordan Sibert — pulled the upset.

OSU started quickly, leading 7-3 after a layup by senior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. at the 16:43 mark.

But Dayton responded, scoring 10 of the game’s next 12 points after Flyer redshirt-senior center Matt Kavanaugh finished off a 3-point play.

The Flyers held the lead until Craft made two free throws with 8:15 left in the first half to give the Buckeyes the lead, 22-21. Craft finished a perfect 3-3 from the field and 3-3 from the line in the first half, on his way to a team-high nine points in the game’s opening 20 minutes.

The game remained close for the remainder of the first half, but Dayton took a 33-30 lead to the break behind nine points from Kavanaugh.

OSU came out sluggish in the second half, allowing the Flyers to extend their lead to 41-34, with 15 minutes to play.

But back-to-back dunks by junior forward Sam Thompson and a bucket by Ross tied the game at 41 with 10:58 remaining.

Thompson tipped in a missed 3-pointer by Craft on the Buckeyes’ next possession for OSU’s first lead since the 8:15 mark of the first half.

A rugged game ensued, and the Buckeyes led 50-49 before freshman forward Marc Loving picked up his fourth foul of the game. Sophomore forward Dyshawn Pierre then made two free throws to put the Flyers back in front by one.

But after former Buckeye and now Flyer Sibert missed a 3-pointer, Craft drove the lane and scored to put OSU back up. He missed the free throw, but OSU still led, 52-51 with 3:32 left.

Dayton senior forward Devin Oliver scored at the other end, and after a turnover by OSU, Craft committed a flagrant-1 foul on Sibert as he drove to the hoop. Sibert nailed both free throws, and Dayton led by three.

But Craft responded with yet another and-one, this time making the free throw to tie the game at 55 and lead to the dramatic finish.

Craft finished with 16 points, five rebounds and four assists in his final game as a Buckeye, and Thompson finished with a game-high 18. After his game-winning shot, Sanford tallied 10 points for the Flyers, who are set to face the winner of No. 3-seed Syracuse and No. 14-seed Western Michigan Saturday.


  1. How Embarrassing for us rabid Buckeye fans!!! I certainly hope the team is embarrassed too!

  2. This team is fundamentally flawed. They don’t box out, Amir is never on his toes but always flat footed and “crowhops” when he gets a rebound. They can’t shoot jump shots because they don’t square their bodies to the basket when they shoot. I learned all this as freshman in high school. We pay these coaches a lot of money. What do they do at practice?

  3. You will never know how embarrassed the team is. Sad for Craft to go out on that shot! Good Luck, Aaron and Go Bucks!!

  4. How sad for Ohio losing it’s last 2 big games of the year through the hands of “Craft” with “his” last 2 shot attempts in the last 2 big games in his career! Never cared for his cocky attitude…..Class….. “he” like a lot these new age players from many teams, never new the meaning of the word! Fitting end!

  5. Why would you spin the title to make it look like it was Craft’s fault? It should say “OSU Loses to Dayton, 60-59, After Aaron Craft Carries Team During Second Half”.

    PS – Big10guy, you have no clue what you are talking about…

  6. What is ironic is that a person who hides behind a made- up name to offer “insights” dares to critique the class of another person. Big10guy, you are clearly not a Buckeye, nor do you know anything about Aaron Craft, nor do you understand the concept of class. This is a painful loss, and certainly the team will feel it for some time. But then they will get up and move forward, stronger.

  7. Thad Mata is clearly overrated. When I first watched Amir Williams, I knew he would be at best mediocre. Bucks have had no bigs to back up Craft defend. Mata has also failed to coach Williams up. A better forward could have been recruited. Mata also passed on Tre Berk, an Ohio kid who wanted to play for Bucks but went to play for ichigan. Mata can’t evaluate talent. We need a better to coach to recruit better talent.

  8. The proper spelling of the name is Matta. Please use proper spelling when criticizing.

  9. This was a flawed team that got as far as their talent would let them. Craft played his heart out, but there were too many missed layups, Ross especially, and the effort just wasn’t there. Dayton wanted it more and they deserved the win. The Bucks lacked a second scorer. Sam Thompson, as smooth as he is, has never developed into a consistent scorer and too many guys seem to be playing at half speed. As usual, the poor free throw shooting played a big part in another close loss. 10-10 in the last 20 games tells the real story of the team.

  10. Hahahaha so damn funny! Screw ohio

  11. Craft is so overrated.. Cant hit the pressure shot just like in the michigan game. He couldnt even hold onto the ball!

  12. the problem is fundamentals. you do not foul on a three point attempt that late in the game. that was the game ender when he hit all three. ohio state were playing the two for one because of time. Craft made a great shot but dayton ran the time down then scored. Matta should have not let that happen. they were afraid to foul which let the player drive with very litlle resistants and go up and score. Matta should have told them if you have to foul foul with time on the clock. worst case youmare down by 1 but you have ten to fifthteen seconds left on the clock. plus the guy with the ball wasnt a good fould shooter good chance he would have made only 1.

  13. Just a fan of NCAA

    I was kind of surprised that craft choose to try at a last second shot after the last game where it rolled off his hands. He is a great player but I thought Dayton seemed very motivated to beat them

  14. Craft is totally overrated, I still think he’s decent, but still overrated. OSU owns next year. Mark these words.

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