Dayton’s Trey Landers dunks in the second half against Rhode Island on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

Dayton Flyers: Landers’ highlight-reel dunk a momentum-swinger

Landers scores 13 points in comeback victory

“Can I get an #SCTop10?!” Landers shouted.

ESPN’s SportsCenter couldn’t do much better than this dunk, not only because it thrilled the crowd of 12,577 at UD Arena but because it was timely. The dunk by Landers, with an assist by freshman point guard Jalen Crutcher, played a big part in Dayton’s 53-50 comeback victory Tuesday against Saint Louis

“That was a momentum swinger for us,” Landers said. “It got the fans back on our side. We were in a slump. We were down 13. That got us going. We got some stops, got out in transition and got a couple buckets.”

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The play came at the 12:07 mark. Dayton trimmed what had been a 13-point deficit at the 18:09 mark to 37-35. Landers had another big basket with 1:45 to play, rebounding a missed 3-pointer by Crutcher and scoring to give Dayton a 50-45 lead.

Landers finished with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting. He had eight rebounds four assists and two steals in 29 minutes. He also threw an alley-oop pass to Kostas Antetokounmpo to tie the game with 5:35 to play.

Still, the dunk by Landers was the play of the night.

“I just told Jalen just put the ball up there and I’ll go get it,” Landers said.

Dayton's Kostas Antetokounmpo talks after victory against Saint Louis
Video: David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Dayton's Anthony Grant reacts to victory over Saint Louis
Video: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Bench play: John Crosby received no playing time for the second straight game. Xeyrius Williams didn’t play for the fourth time in five games.

Walk-on Jack Westerfield played three minutes in the first half. Matej Svoboda played five minutes. Antetokounmpo led the reserves with 12 points in 19 minutes.

Next game: Dayton plays at Rhode Island (22-2, 14-1) at 7 p.m. Friday. The Rams beat the Flyers 88-74 at UD Arena on Jan. 20.

Rhode Island survived La Salle’s upset bid in the only other A-10 game Tuesday, winning 95-93 in overtime at Tom Gola Arena in Philadelphia.

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La Salle’s B.J. Johnson sent the game to overtime with 2 seconds to play, scoring on a layup. Rhode Island’s Jeff Downtin made four free throws in the final five seconds to secure the victory.

Rhode Island avoided its first two-game losing streak of the season. It lost its previous game 77-74 at St. Bonaventure.

Standings update: Rhode Island clinched a share of the regular-season title and can win the title outright with one victory in its last three games. It’s the first regular-season championship for the Rams since they won a share of the Eastern Eight title in 1980-81.

Dayton (13-14, 7-8) moved out of a tie for eighth with Duquesne and George Mason, who don’t play until Wednesday, into eighth place all by itself. The Flyers are a half game behind a trio of 7-7 teams that play Wednesday: Virginia Commonwealth, St. Joseph’s and Richmond.

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