PITTSBURGH – The University of Dayton men’s basketball team closed its regular season on Saturday evening with a hard-fought 78-67 road win over Duquesne. Dayton finishes the regular season with a 21-10 overall record and a 13-5 mark in Atlantic 10 play. The Flyers locked in the No. 3 seed of the Atlantic 10 Tournament and will play on Friday at 8:30 p.m. (ET) in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Ryan Mikesell made a layup at the 14:47 mark of the first half for the second lead change of the game to give Dayton a 9-8 advantage and the Flyers would not trail for the remainder of the game.
Mikesell was one of four Flyers to score in double figures with 17 points and he was joined by Obi Toppin (19 points), as well as Jalen Crutcher (16) and Trey Landers (10). Crutcher and Landers both nearly picked up a double-double with a team-high nine assists and rebounds, respectively.
First Half: Dayton 37, Dayton 29
· Neither team gained much separation early, as the deficit never grew above five for the first 15 minutes of the game.
· Sincere Carry made a layup for Duquesne to cut the Dayton lead to 30-26, but Dayton responded with a 7-0 scoring run capped by a Trey Landers fast break layup to push its lead to 11 points, the largest of the game to that point.
The Dukes scored the final three points of the half to make the score 37-29 heading into halftime.
Second Half: Dayton 78, Duquesne 67
· Duquesne opened scoring up in the second half with a layup by Frankie Hughes to make the score 37-31.
· Dayton worked the lead all the way up to 12 at the 16:35 mark in the second half after four straight free throws from Trey Landers and Jalen Crutcher (two apiece) to make the score 47-35.
· The Dukes made their best push to take back the lead near the under-8:00 media timeout when back-to-back 3-pointers from Eric Williams Jr. and Lamar Norman Jr. made the score 59-55 with just 7:33 left to play.
· Dayton answered by scoring each of the next five points off a 3-pointer from Ryan Mikesell and a dunk from Obi Toppin to push the lead back up to nine with 6:22 remaining and Duquesne wasn’t able to get back within six for the rest of the contest.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
· Landers was incredibly efficient, getting his 10 points and nine rebounds in 17 minutes of action. He was four-for-four from the floor and two-for-two from the line.
· Crutcher had just two turnovers to go with his nine assists.
· Toppin reached double figures for a team-high 22nd team this season. Thirteen of his 19 points came in the second half.
· UD out-rebounded Duquesne 37-26, and decidedly won the fast break points category 18-7.
· Dayton will head to Brooklyn, N.Y. to compete in the Atlantic 10 Tournament at the Barclays Center. The Flyers are the No. 3 seed and will play in the quarterfinals on Friday, Mar. 15 at 8:30 p.m. (ET).
UD will face the winner that emerge from Fordham, Richmond and Saint Louis.