Lindsey Pullian scored 26 to lead the Wildcats (17-14). Northwestern shot 41.4 percent from the field to Dayton’s 27.4. The Flyers had twice as many turnovers (16-8).
Lauren Cannatelli had three points in her final game for Dayton. Araion Bradshaw scored seven.
Northwestern advanced to play Toledo in the second round at 1 p.m. Sunday in Chicago.