Dayton exits A-10 tournament early for third straight season

Flyers will hope for a NIT bid as their NCAA tournament dreams die

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It’s the third straight season Dayton (21-11) has failed to win an A-10 tournament game. It lost to Davidson in the quarterfinals in 2017 and to Virginia Commonwealth in the second round in 2018.

Dayton will fail to make the NCAA tournament for the second straight season and will hope for a NIT bid.

Saint Louis led throughout the second half, but Dayton trimmed a nine-point deficit to two on a layup by Jalen Crutcher with 5:42 to play. The Billikens then clinched the victory with a 10-1 run in the next three minutes.

Turnovers hurt the Flyers. They had 16. The Billikens had nine.

Tramaine Isabell led Saint Louis with 24 points. Jalen Crutcher scored 18 for Dayton.

Saint Louis will play No. 2 seed Davidson in the semifinals at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Davidson beat No. 10 seed Saint Joseph’s 70-60, ending the game with a 10-0 run . Jon Axel Gudmundsson scored the first eight points in that run, including the tie-breaking 3-point play with 2:03 to play.

No. 8 Rhode Island will play No. 4 seed St. Bonaventure in the first semifinal at 1 p.m. Rhode Island beat No. 1 seed Virginia Commonwealth 75-70. St. Bonaventure beat No. 5 seed George Mason 68-57.

HALFTIME RECAP

The Flyers overcame 10 turnovers and a failure to control the defensive boards to take a 30-29 halftime lead.

Crutcher’s layup with 20 seconds to play gave Dayton the slight edge. Dayton outscored Saint Louis 5-1 in the last 90 seconds. Crutcher led the Flyers with nine points. Jordan Davis scored eight.

Dayton shot 54.2 percent (13 of 24) from the field, while Saint Louis shot 33.3 percent (12 of 36).

The Billikens took 12 more shots because they grabbed 10 offensive rebounds. Dayton had zero.

The Flyers made 4 of 14 3-pointers. Saint Louis made 2 of 7.

Dayton’s Obi Toppin left the game after banging his leg and picking up his second foul at the same time.

This was the second straight game against Saint Louis in which Dayton has led by one point at halftime. It led 22-21 and beat the Billikens 70-62 on Feb. 23 in Dayton. Saint Louis won the first match 73-60 on Feb. 5.

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