Jalen Crutcher hit a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer in overtime to give the Dayton Flyers one of their biggest victories of the season — and certainly the grittiest. UD trailed 55-42 with 7:42 to play in the second half.
No. 13 Dayton beat Saint Louis 78-76 on Friday at Chaifetz Arena. Saint Louis took a 76-75 lead on two free throws by Yuri Collins with 6 seconds left.
Crutcher took the in-bounds pass, dribbled around the 3-point line to get space and launched the game winner. Just 0.1 seconds was left on the clock. Saint Louis launched a long shot that wouldn’t have counted anyway as time expired.
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Dayton won its seventh straight game, improving to 16-2 and 5-0 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The victory, coupled with a win Tuesday against Virginia Commonwealth, gives Dayton a chance to move into the top 10 for the first time this season in the Associated Press poll.
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Crutcher scored a game-high 21 points on 7-of-17 shooting. He scored Dayton’s last seven points, making 4 of 4 free throws in the final minute.
Obi Toppin had 20 points. Ibi Watson scored 17.
Dayton overcame the 13-point deficit with a 24-6 run and led by five with 1:59 to play only to have the Billikens force overtime on a last-second shot by Jordan Goodwin.
The Flyers faced a halftime deficit for the first time this season Friday, trailing Saint Louis 33-25.
Crutcher missed a layup in the final seconds. Toppin rebounded the ball but missed a dunk at the buzzer. It was that kind of half for No. 13 Dayton, which shot 33 percent from the field and 10 percent (1 of 10) from 3-point range.
Saint Louis, the worst free-throw shooting team in the country, could have had a bigger lead. It made 3 of 12 free throws.
Dayton went through a seven-minute stretch in which it scored one point and then cut the deficit to 21-20 only to give up a 10-0 run in the next three-plus minutes.
Goodwin led Saint Louis with nine points. Watson scored seven for Dayton. Toppin had six points on 2-of-11 shooting.
Dayton trailed by as many as 11 points. It was the first time this season it trailed by double digits.
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