Obi Toppin scored 19 points with seven rebounds and Jalen Crutcher had 19 points and five assists to lead No. 6 Dayton to a 71-63 victory over Massachusetts in Atlantic 10 Conference play on Saturday afternoon at Amherst, Mass., extending its winning streak to 14 games.
The Flyers (23-2, 12-0 Atlantic 10) shot 52.9 percent (27-for-51) which included a sizzling 53.8 percent on 3-pointers (7-for-13).
The Minutemen struggled shooting the ball, connecting on just 4-of-20 3-pointers (20.0 percent). Freshman center Tre Mitchell paced UMass with 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Samba Diallo had 10 points and six rebounds.
The Minutemen (10-15, 4-8) played one of their best games of the season, with the Flyers the highest ranked team to play in the Mullins Center since No. 2 Saint Joseph on Feb. 25, 2004. But the Flyers pulled away late in the second half behind a scoring spree by Crutcher.
The Minutemen managed to claw back midway through the second half, when Dibaji Walker hit a jumper to slash the deficit to 46-41. But Crutcher added to his reputation for big second-half performances, scoring 11 straight Dayton points to give the Flyers some cushion.
Crutcher hit back-to-back 3-pointers in a row, a five-foot floater and ended a personal three-minute scoring surge with a deep 3-pointer from the wing to give the Flyers a 57-43 edge with 7:06 remaining.
Dwayne Cohill and Toppin both added layups to raise the advantage to 64-47 with 4:17 left. UMass managed to battle back behind its defensive pressure, cutting the margin to 65-59 with 39.4 left. Carl Pierre's reverse layup lowered the deficit to 67-63 with 14.5 seconds remaining. Crutcher sealed the win with two free throws with 12.3 left.
The Minutemen closed out the first half with a big run, cutting the deficit to 31-26 at the break. Dayton shot 13-for-28 from the floor (46.4 percent) in the first half, including making three of its four 3-pointers, to offset a 10-turnover effort.
--Field Level Media