NEW YORK — Chris Johnson scored 22 points, including five key free throws down the stretch, and Dayton held off Mississippi 68-63 in the NIT semifinals Tuesday night.
Marcus Johnson added 12 points for the Flyers (24-12), who slowed Mississippi's high-scoring offense and advanced to the championship game for the first time since winning their second NIT title in 1968.
Terrico White had 19 points for the Rebels (24-11), eliminated in the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden for the second time in three years. Ole Miss was beaten by eventual champion Ohio State in 2008.
With New York Giants quarterback and former Ole Miss star Eli Manning sitting in the second row, near the Rebels' bench, Mississippi's Murphy Holloway had a chance to tie it at 64 with 35.8 seconds left. But he missed the second of two free throws, and the Rebels never scored again.