SPOKANE, Washington (Ticker) -- Without its home cooking, Dayton crashed out of the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
No. 4 Dayton staged a dramatic rally from an 18-point deficit before suffering an 84-71 loss to No. 13 Tulsa in a Midwest Region first-round matchup.
The Flyers won the Atlantic 10 tournament on their home floor and had their final road game on March 8 canceled when St. Bonaventure forfeited. But Dayton played its first game away from home since February 26 and had to play from behind the entire game.
Dayton (24-6) came out very flat and trailed 32-14 after just over 11 minutes. The Flyers were down 46-33 at halftime after Ramod Marshall's buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
"We went in at halftime and knew that Dayton wasn't going to go away," Tulsa coach John Phillips said.
Little by little, Tulsa (23-9) let its lead slip away and Dayton pulled even at 67-67 on Brooks Hall's 3-pointer with 5:17 left.
Kevin Johnson responded with a pair of free throws at the other end, and Keith Waleskowski brough Dayton back even with a short jump shot. The Golden Hurricane went back ahead for good at 72-69 when Dante Swanson converted a three-point play with 4:15 left.
"When they were making their run, we made a lot of mental mistakes," Swanson said. "When they tied it up, we finally decided to play defense and we took over again."
Swanson and Jason Parker had 24 points apiece to lead Tulsa, while Johnson added 15.
Marshall, who led the Flyers with 21 points, missed a pair of 3-pointers and Sean Finn was called for offensive goaltending as both teams went scoreless for almost three minutes until Johnson made a hook shot with 1:32 left to pad Tulsa's lead to five points. Charlie Davis scored on a fast break 30 seconds later to virtually seal the victory.
"It was a big play," Hall said of the basket interference call. "Sean put it in. That (would have) cut it to one and changes the (nature) of the game."
Tulsa shot 48 percent(13-of-27) from the field in the second half to hold off Dayton's charge after shooting 67 percent (20-of-30) in the first half.
"They took care of business down the stretch," Dayton coach Oliver Purnell said.
Tulsa played its last road game on March 8 at Nevada. The Golden Hurricane then played the Western Athletic Conference tournament on their own home floor. Still, Tulsa was better-traveled than Dayton, having played in Spokane on February 22 in a 69-60 loss to Gonzaga.
"We're usually the underdogs, and that makes you want to attack the other team and go at them much harder," Swanson said. "That's the process we got in our heads at the end of the season, and now into the tournament. We were the underdogs tonight."
Tulsa was the lowest seed to win on a day when several teams came close, but failed to take down higher-seeded teams.
The Golden Hurricane have won their last five first-round games, but have only advanced past the second round once since 1996. In 2000, Tulsa made it to the regional finals and came within four points of getting past North Carolina and into the Final Four.