SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -Paul Williams' summer of work paid off for No. 18 Dayton.
The sophomore guard hit the go-ahead 3-pointer and went 4 for 4 from the free throw line in the last minute to seal the Flyers' 63-59 comeback win over No. 21 Georgia Tech in the opening game of the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Thursday.
``All summer we were working out shooting free three throws, a thousand after a thousand, and that shows you I can hit it,' Williams said.
Dayton coach Brian Gregory was not surprised by his reserve guard's performance.
``He's going to be an impact guy for us, which is what we thought from the beginning,' Gregory said.
Williams finished with 13 points for Dayton (2-0), which got 47 points from its backups, including 19 from Chris Johnson.
``I just come in and play my role,' said Johnson, who shot 4 for 8 from behind the 3-point line as the Flyers' outside shooting countered the Yellow Jackets' inside game. ``I try to bring energy to the team.'
The Yellow Jackets (1-1) trailed the Flyers 31-22 at the half, but rallied with a string of dunks and layups by Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal.
A 3-pointer by Brian Oliver gave Georgia Tech its first lead of the second half at 49-47 and a layup by Zachery Peacock on an offensive rebound with 4:37 to play gave them a 57-50 lead.
Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt said Dayton's energy was the key to its comeback.
``We had a little flow going and then we got a little frantic, gave them some life,' Hewitt said. ``The turnovers really hurt us, but you have to give credit to Dayton's energy.'
The Flyers had 22 turnovers, but scored 27 points off 26 Georgia Tech turnovers.
``At times we were ugly out there, but we played hard,' Gregory said.
Maurice Miller and Favors led Georgia Tech with 10 points apiece, and Lawal had eight rebounds in helping the Yellow Jackets outrebound Dayton 34-26.
In the first half, Dayton took control with an 8-0 run capped by Chris Wright's breakaway dunk that gave the Flyers a 30-20 lead three minutes before the break. Luke Fabrizius also scored two 3-pointers during the run and finished with 12 points.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved