Dayton's Jalen Crutcher celebrates after a 3-pointer in the first half against Saint Mary's on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Ariz.
Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Dayton Flyers pick up biggest victory of the season so far, beating Saint Mary’s

Jalen Crutcher leads Dayton with 21

» PHOTOS: Flyers vs. Gaels | Fans in Phoenix

Facing its first big test as a ranked team, No. 19 Dayton (7-1) dominated from the opening minutes and withstood a run by the Gaels in the second half to improve to 7-1. It is the most important victory of the season so far for the Flyers and gives them a strong victory for their NCAA tournament resume.

“They’re a really good team,” Dayton forward Obi Toppin said. “We knew coming in here if we beat them it’s good for us. We knew they’re a really good shooting team, and we had that under control in the first half, and it was a high energy booster for us. We just had to finish it off in the second half.”

» BIG GAME: Flyers put No. 19 ranking on line in Phoenix

Dayton entered the game with the highest Ken Pomeroy rating in its history. It was No. 21. Saint Mary’s was 43rd. Dayton now has three top-70 victories. It beat No. 64 Georgia and No. 61 Virginia Tech in the Maui Invitational.

Jalen Crutcher led Dayton with 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting and had six assists. Obi Toppin scored 16. Trey Landers had 15 points and eight rebounds. Ibi Watson added 11 points.

» RECRUITING: UD showing interest in former Florida State commit

Dayton shot 53.8 percent from the field and made 13 of 24 3-pointers. The Flyers led by as many as 24 points in the second half. The Gaels, who shot 45.1 percent from the field and 43.8 percent (7 of 16) from 3-point range, got as close as eight points with 1:54 left.

Dayton ended an eight-game winning streak for Saint Mary’s (9-2) and avenged losses to the Gaels in 2016 and 2017.

Highlights: Dayton Flyers make 10 3s in first half vs. Saint Mary's
Video: David Jablonski - Staff Writer


The Flyers made 10 of 15 3-pointers in the first half, building a 46-25 halftime lead.

Jalen Crutcher led the Flyers with 19 points. He made his first five 3-pointers and finished 5-of-6 from long range, 6 of 7 from the field and 2 of 2 from the free-throw line.

Obi Toppin scored seven points. Ryan Mikesell and Ibi Watson each scored six.

Dayton shot 69.6 percent from the field, while Saint Mary’s shot 33.3 percent. The Flyers led by as many as 24 points.

» ARCHDEACON: Tshimanga says Flyers are going to be special

The only negative stat for Dayton was eight turnovers. The Gaels also had eight turnovers.

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.