Dayton (17-2, 6-0) leads a trio of second-place teams — Duquesne, Richmond and Rhode Island (all 5-1) — by a game one third of the way through the A-10 schedule. It still has to play Duquesne and Rhode Island twice and travels to Richmond on Saturday for its next game. In short, no one will clinch the A-10 championship anytime soon even if Dayton continues to look like the best team.
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The Flyers shot a season-best 64.8 percent from the field. It was the third time they topped 60 percent. They made 10 of 25 3-pointers (40 percent), their best performance outside the arc since Dec. 23.
Dayton never trailed and broke the game open with a 22-5 run to end the first half. It extended the lead to as many as 27 points in the second half. The Bonnies (12-7, 4-2) suffered their second-worst loss of the season four days after their worst loss: 91-63 at Virginia Commonwealth.
“Being able to get out in transition as much as we did allowed us to hit some spurts they weren’t able to overcome,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “I thought our guys did a really good job of sharing the ball tonight. When you see 25 assists, that’s a great number.”
Anthony Grant: Postgame press conference after win against St. Bonaventure
The player of the game for the second straight game was Crutcher, who didn’t need a last-second shot this time. Five days after his game-winning 3-pointer in overtime against Saint Louis, Crutcher scored 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting. He added seven assists and committed only one turnover.
With his third straight 20-point game, Crutcher continued a rapid ascent up the Dayton career scoring list. He passed Jim Paxson Sr., Charles Cooke and Josh Cunningham on Wednesday to move into 51st place in school history with 973 points.
Crutcher averaged 12.9 points in 13 non-conference games. He has averaged 16.8 points in six conference games.
“He’s a really good player,” Grant said. “I think he’s been proving that since he stepped on campus for what we asked him to do as a freshman and what he grew into as a sophomore and his progression. He’s really good not only scoring but facilitating and making plays for his teammates.”
Several of Clutcher’s baskets will go on his season highlight reel. He threw up one shot almost blind and got it to fall as he fell to the ground thanks to some strong spin, drawing a foul in the process.
“I just tried to get it up on the rim,” Crutcher said.