There was no drama on opening night for the Dayton Flyers this season. One year after Josh Cunningham’s last-second basket beat Ball State, Dayton pulled away from North Florida in the second half for a 78-70 victory Wednesday at UD Arena.
Obi Toppin, making his Dayton debut and filling in for the injured Cunningham in the starting lineup, led the Flyers with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting. He left the game in the second half with cramps but returned not long later.
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Jordan Davis scored 16 points. Trey Landers had 15. Ryan Mikesell had 12. Jalen Crutcher had nine. Dwayne Cohill scored five points in his college debut, and Jhery Matos debuted with three points.
Freshman Frankie Policelli was the only scholarship player to not see action for Dayton.
North Florida shot 38 percent from 3-point range. Dayton committed only six turnovers. Those were big good stats for Dayton, which needs to improve in those areas this season.
Dayton returns to action at 7 p.m. Saturday against Coppin State.
The Flyers built a 41-35 halftime lead
Toppin led the Flyers with 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting. He had four dunks, including two in the first three minutes. He had the first basket of the season. It was also a dunk.
Mikesell, playing his first game since March of 2017, scored eight points for the Flyers. Davis also had eight. Landers and Crutcher each scored five. Dwayne Cohill scored the first three points of his career at the free-throw line after being fouled on a 3-pointer.
Dayton was playing without its top player, redshirt senior forward Josh Cunningham, who injured his wrist in practice Tuesday.
North Florida shot 40 percent from 3-point range (6 of 15). Dayton made 3 of 7 (42.9). Each team committed seven turnovers