Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hokies' Coach Labels Dayton Escape Lucky

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Hokies' Coach Labels Dayton Escape Lucky

Article excerpt

Coach Bill Foster was so relieved after Virginia Tech survived a late miss by Dayton that he said the magic word three times: "We were lucky, lucky, lucky.

"Dayton outplayed us in every aspect of the game," Foster said after a 63-62 victory by the 11th-ranked Hokies on Thursday night in Blacksburg, Va. "They did a better job of getting the ball where they wanted."

Until the final shot.

Dayton coach Oliver Purnell called for a timeout with nine seconds remaining as the Flyers (9-6, 1-3 Atlantic 10) were getting ready to inbound the ball under the basket. The play he called was to get the ball to the baseline, but the shot wasn't open.

"If we didn't get that, Coby (Turner) flashes to the middle," Purnell said.

The pass made it to Turner at the top of the key, where he was guarded by Ace Custis.

But Turner's double-pumping, driving jump shot from just inside the foul line bounced off the rim with four seconds left and Virginia Tech (11-1, 4-0) rebounded.

"I just faked up like I was going to try to block the shot," said Custis, who had 17 points. "We knew that the offensive rebound would be more important than the shot."

Dayton had two players with a hand on the ball, but Keefe Matthews took control.

"We really needed a rebound so I went up after it as hard as I could," Matthews said.

"Maybe this is an attention-getter for our team," Foster said. "It appears that we maybe thought we were fat cats tonight. This is a whole new experience for our team, being ranked among the top teams in the country. I don't think our kids realize how much everyone shoots at you in that situation."

Dayton was able to work the ball inside freely in the second half and, after being down by nine points early in the second half, took a 49-48 lead with 11 minutes 50 seconds remaining on Ryan Perryman's two free throws.

The lead changed hands seven times after that, with Dayton allowing Virginia Tech to stay even by missing five of six free throws.

Custis put Virginia Tech ahead 63-62 with a foul shot with 1:25 left. …

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