Dwayne Cohill and Jalen Crutcher each made two free throws in the closing seconds as No. 5 Dayton hung on for a 66-61 win over VCU on Tuesday in Richmond, Va.
The Flyers (24-2, 13-0 Atlantic 10) earned their 15th consecutive victory. The Rams (17-9, 7-6) lost their third in a row.
Crutcher finished 8-for-8 from the line while leading Dayton with 18 points.
Nah'Shon Hyland paced the Rams with 18 points. Hyland, a freshman who started in place of Marcus Evans (knee), shot 7-for-14 from the floor before fouling out.
Both team's leading scorers struggled in the first half.
Obi Toppin, who is on five national player of the year watch lists and entered play averaging 19.7 points per game, scored just three points in the first half and finished with 12.
His counterpart for VCU, Marcus Santos-Silva, who came in averaging 12.7 points per game, was held to just two points in the first 20 minutes and finished with 12 points and 17 rebounds.
Toppin opened the scoring with a 3-pointer. That would be his only basket of the first half. He went 1-for-4 and also recorded just one rebound and one assist before the break.
Crutcher picked up the slack, scoring 10 first-half points as the Flyers led for most of the first 20 minutes.
The Rams were on top only once, at 7-6, on Hyland's layup at the 15:38 mark.
Dayton opened up a 19-12 lead on Ibi Watson's layup and took a seven-point lead into halftime following a pair of free throws by Watson.
Dayton was determined to get Toppin going in the second half. He scored six of the Flyers' first eight points, but Dayton was unable to pull away until Crutcher connected on a pair of free throws that boosted the edge to 51-42.
The Rams cut the deficit to 52-50 on a three-point play by Vince Williams. That was as close as VCU would get, as poor foul shooting doomed any chance of an upset.
VCU made only 13 of 22 foul shots while the Flyers made 22 of 31 attempts.
The Rams also controlled the boards, outrebounding Dayton 41-31.
--Field Level Media