Dayton’s Obi Toppin on roommate, 1000-point scorer Jalen Crutcher: ‘He’s amazing’

Junior guard scores 18 points points against Duquesne

Jalen Crutcher carried the basketball off the court after the Dayton Flyers beat Duquesne 73-69, passing a giant sign celebrating his 1,000-point milestone. He still held the basketball, which he planned to keep as a souvenir, 10 minutes later while conducting interviews outside the locker room at PPG Paints Arena on Wednesday.

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Dayton's 10th straight victory started with Crutcher scoring on a layup on the first possession. That basket gave him his 999th and 1,000th career points. He became the 49th player in school history — and the first recruited by Anthony Grant — to reach the milestone.

"It means a lot," Crutcher said. "I'm thankful for it. I couldn't do it without God and my teammates and my coaches and my family."

Crutcher finished the game with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting and now has 1,016 points in his career. He passed Sean Finn (1,003 points), Darrell Davis (1,008) and Junior Norris (1,009) to move into 46th place.

» ARCHDEACON ON CRUTCHER: No moment too big | Best is yet to come

Crutcher is the first Dayton player to score 1,000 points since Davis, who reached the milestone in his last game in 2018.

The other most recent players to reach the milestone were Scoochie Smith (1,273) and Kendall Pollard (1,149), who hit 1,000 points as seniors in the 2016-17 season.

Crutcher had six assists against Duquesne and has 427 in his career, ranking 10th in Dayton history. He joins Negele Knight, Jack Zimmerman, Jim Paxson, Derrick Dukes, Ramod Marshall and Smith on the list of players who have tallied 1,000 points and 400 assists.

» GAME STORY: Grant says Flyers have to be better

"He's amazing," Dayton forward Obi Toppin said. "He's the best guard in the country to me. Him being my roommate, it means a lot to me because I know it means a lot to him: where he came from, the school he went to, the neighborhoods he grew up in. I know it means a lot to him. Nobody thought he was going to come here and score 1,000 points. He didn't even think that. So him coming here and doing that is amazing for him and the team. He helps us every single day. He's a really good leader. We're all proud of him for getting that 1,000th point."

Family support: Dayton guard Trey Landers hugged his brother Robert in the stands after the game. Robert, who just completed his fifth and final season as a defensive lineman for Ohio State, said he's working out near Pittsburgh in preparation for a NFL career.

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Together, the brothers have combined to go 32-3 in their final college seasons. The Buckeyes finished 13-1. Dayton is 19-2.

Seeing a photo of him hugging Robert on Twitter, Trey wrote, "We always asked ourselves, “What type of legacy do you wanna leave?' I feel like we are in the process of leaving a great one, but we aren’t done just yet!! Love you bro."

Kobe tribute: Toppin and Dwayne Cohill both honored the late Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, by writing on their shoes Wednesday. Toppin wrote "Kobe" and "Gianna" and Bryant's uniform numbers. Both players wrote "Mamba Mentality" on their shoes, which were both from the Bryant line of Nike basketball shoes.

Around the A-10: Virginia Commonwealth (16-5, 6-2) beat Richmond 87-68 on Tuesday at the Siegel Center. The Rams won their fourth straight game, while the Spiders (15-6, 5-3) lost their second straight. VCU sits alone in third place.

• Rhode Island (15-5, 7-1) beat George Mason 78-64 on Tuesday, extending its winning streak to seven games. Rhode Island sits alone in second place and trails Dayton by one game.

In Wednesday action:

• Davidson (10-10, 4-4), which was picked to finish second in the preseason poll, fell into a tie for eighth place after a 107-104 four-overtime loss to George Washington in Washington, D.C.. Maceo Jack scored 35 points for the Colonials (10-11, 4-4).

• St. Bonaventure (13-8, 5-3) ended a three-game losing streak by beating Fordham 62-55 in Bronx, N.Y.

• Saint Louis (16-5, 5-3) survived an upset bid at La Salle (10-10, 1-7), winning 77-76 in overtime.

Looking ahead: Dayton plays its next three games at home, facing Fordham (7-13, 1-7) at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and then Saint Louis at 2 p.m. Feb. 8 and Rhode Island at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11. Dayton has won 15 straight games in the series vs. Fordham.

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