DaRon Holmes II, affectionately known as Deuce because of the II after his name, scored 23 points, snagged 17 rebounds, recorded five dunks and blocked three shots to lead the Flyers to their fourth straight victory and he was given ample help from point guard Kobe Elvis, who shed a shooting slump to add 24 points to Holmes’ total as UD lifted its record to 7-2.
Dayton, OH.— This is not something from Fact or Fiction. It is too unfathomable to not be true and it comes from the category of you can’t make this stuff up.
On a chill January, 1992 night in a steamy hot gym, Troy University’s basketball team famously (or infamously) beat DeVry University, 258-141, still the highest scoring game in NCAA basketball history.
The current version of Troy basketball visited UD Arena Saturday afternoon and came up 198 points short of that 258-point game.
In fact, the scrappy and tenacious Trojans acquitted themselves fairly well, but the University of Dayton Flyers prevailed, 82-70.
Dayton’s DeRon Holmes II played as if he were three different players — 23 points, five dunks, 17 rebounds, three blocked shots and four assists. He now has 169 blocked shots, extending his school record.
And one of his five dunks came with 3:10 left in the game after Troy crept to within 11 points after being down by as many as 17.
Holmes started at mid-court and dribbled toward the basket. When he encountered a defender he did a 360 around him, then did a Flying Wallenda and slam—jammed it home. The crowd raised the roof.
It was the kind of play that yanks the heart out of the opposition and this one gave the Flyers a 71-59 lead.
“Yes, it does break their spirit,” said Holmes. “That’s what we do. That gets us on runs. It’s always great to have those opportunities.”
Of his do-it-all afternoon, Holmes said, “I want to do a better job of impacting a game in other ways besides scoring. That’s just part of the game and this team has guys who can do it all. So I went out there and tried to do it all.”
And 17 rebounds?
“Yes, sir. That’s part of it. I have to be more aggressive on the boards and I was talking to myself about that.”
“We have to take that same approach with every game,” said Holmes. “We’ve played against some of the best rebounding teams in the country — St. John’s and Houston, so we’ve learned our lessons with the boards. We’ve faced that challenge. My goal was to go out there and say, ‘Hey, you guys get a lot of rebounds, but we do, too.’”
Said UD coach Anthony Grant, “Deuce (Holmes) did a great job of chasing rebounds, and it was needed.
“And from an offensive standpoint, just the attention that he draws. He drew 10 fouls and I beg to differ . He was fouled a lot more than 10,” Grant added, indicating that Troy got away with more than a few hacks, grabs and pushes on Holmes.
Holmes was aided and abetted in this one by Kobe Elvis, playing point guard since the Flyers lost Malachi Smith for the season. Elvis shed a shooting slump by hitting 9 of 15 shots, 4 of 6 from three, for a career-best 24 points.
At one point in the first half, Troy was within 23-17 before Elvis went on a one-on-one spree for eight straight points.
Asked if he liked playing point guard, sharing it with Javon Bennett, Elvis smiled and said, “Yeah. . .and it’s always fun when you have a big guy like DaRon setting screens for you to roll to the rim. It makes life easy.”
In every game, there are defining moments and the Flyers had several Saturday afternoon in addition to Elvis’s eight straight point eruption.
Koby Brea does not start games, but enters quicker than the clock on Jeopardy and begins raining more threes than the lights on downtown traffic lights.
Brea’s three-pointers are not short and to the point, just to the point. His long-range shots are as smooth as Mozart.
He only made two Saturday, but both were disheartening to Troy. The first came with the score 17-17. HIs three-pointer was so dead-on it barely rustled the nets and preceded the eight-point Elvis run. The second came late in the game when Troy sneaked to within 10 at 66-56. Brea buried a three and the lead was back to 13.
And then there was Bennett’s few seconds of glory at the end of the half. He hit a three with five seconds left, then scurried back on defense and used every inch of his 5-foot-10 frame (and that’s a stretch) to block a three-point shot at the buzzer.
“A great play and that shot probably would have gone in, the way they shot threes in the first half,” said Grant. Troy made its first four three-point shots, two in the first minute. The Trojans made 8 of 17 in the first half, but only 3 of 11 in the second half.
Troy arrived at UD Arena with a 4-4 record, but lost two games in overtime, 81-80, to Oregon State and 88-86 to Sam Houston, plus a one-point loss in regulation to Eastern Kentucky, 77-76.
“Troy was impressive, watching them on film, and they didn’t disappoint,” said Grant. “Troy was in the top 20 in the country in getting to the free throw line and in the top ten in offensive rebounding. Our guys did a great job of taking away things they have feated on.”
The Trojans took on 14 free throws and made 11 and grabbed 11 offensive rebounds, while the Flyers were 14 for 20 from the foul line and snagged 10 offensive boards.
Now, about that game in which Troy scored 258 points.
Former coach Don Maestri, a 500-game winner at Troy, employed a full-game, full-court pressure defense. If the opponent crossed the half-court line, Troy permitted them to score uncontested so the Trojans could get the ball back quickly. The first Troy player across the time-line got to shoot.
In the DeVry game, Troy forced 44 turnovers and eight of 11 players scored 20 or more, led by Terry McCord’s 41. Amazingly, Troy shot only three free throws and made all three.
There were no such shenanigans in UD Arena Saturday.