Dayton's Obi Toppin dunks against Tulsa on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Ct.
Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

Dayton fades late against Tulsa and falls back to .500

Josh Cunningham leads Flyers with 15 points

This one had to feel similar to a number of the previous losses. Dayton (5-5) came out slow, trailing 27-13 in the first half. It rallied to tie the game 30-30 at halftime. Then it surged ahead by as many as four points early in the second half before fading late. It followed a similar script in losses to Oklahoma and Auburn.

» FOLLOW THE FLYERS: All the links you need for the season in one place

Tulsa (9-3) took control by scoring on eight straight possessions during the crucial stretch starting at the 8:19 mark. It shot 66.7 percent from the field in the second half.

"We've got to be able to get stops," Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. "They did a good job in the second half of working the ball inside. Give them credit. Every big shot when we switched up our defense, they made us pay for it. They got some special situations in terms of underneath out of bounds. They made us pay every time. They're a good team. They're 9-3 for a reason. They've had a good schedule. They have some veterans. They played like it tonight. No excuses for us."

Josh Cunningham led the Flyers with 15 points, and Jalen Crutcher scored 14.

» FILM SESSION: Analyzing the 23 turnovers at Auburn

A 3-pointer by Crutcher with 50 seconds to play cut Tulsa's lead to 68-65. On Dayton's next possession, Ryan Mikesell missed what would have been the game-tying 3-pointer from the corner.

Dayton has three non-conference games remaining, all at UD Arena, to build momentum for Atlantic 10 Conference play. However, any hope of winning enough non-conference games to put itself in contention for an at-large NCAA tournament berth — if there was any left before this game — has vanished.

Dayton solved two of its problems in this game, committing five turnovers after having 23 in the previous game against No. 8 Auburn and making 14 of 17 free throws.

» RECRUITING NEWS: High-scoring Sinclair guard gets offer from Dayton

The slow start, if it didn't doom Dayton, didn't help. The Flyers trailed 27-13 and ended the half on a 17-3 run.

"We looked like a team out of rhythm for a good part of the first half," Grant said. "We fixed that offensively and were able to get stops and get out in transition. But in the second half, we just didn't get enough stops or make enough shots."

NOTES: Rhode Island (5-3) beat West Virginia 83-70 in the first game Sunday at Mohegan Sun Arena. The game featured 56 fouls — each team committed 28 — and 70 free throws. … The Flyers return to action at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Western Michigan (5-5) at UD Arena. The Broncos lost 70-62 at No. 5 Michigan on Saturday.

 

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.

X