Rhode Island knocked out top-seed VCU in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament, which seemingly opened the door for the University of Dayton to have a better chance at earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Those aspirations were short-lived when the third-seeded Flyers fell to NO. 6 seed St. Louis, 64-55, in their post-season opener.
Now 21-11, UD is expected to get a bid to the NIT. The Billikens will meet second-seeded Davidson in the A-10 semifinals.
First Half: Dayton 30, Saint Louis 29
- Dayton made three of its first four shots, while Saint Louis was just 1-of-7 (14%) from the floor to give the Flyers an early 7-3 advantage.
- The Flyers led 17-13 near the midway point of the half, as Jalen Crutcher and Obi Toppin had five points apiece.
- Jordan Davis knocked down a jumper to put Dayton ahead 21-15, its largest lead of the half, at the 7:53 mark.
- Saint Louis went on a 9-0 scoring run to go up 24-21 and held onto that lead until Davis connected on a 3-pointer with 1:13 in the half to tie it back up at 28-all.
- Jalen Crutcher made a layup with 20 seconds remaining to put the Flyers up two, then Tramaine Isabell made one of two free throws to close out scoring in the first half.
Second Half: Saint Louis 64, Dayton 55
- Jordan Goodwin made a pair of free throws for the first points of the half to put Saint Louis ahead 31-30 and Dayton was unable to lead for the remainder of the game.
- Isabell made a 3-pointer to give Saint Louis its largest lead of the game at 43-36 with 14:38 to play.
- A Javon Bess jumper made the score 52-43 at the 9:43 mark, but Dayton went on a 7-0 scoring run, including the last five from Crutcher, to cut the deficit back to two.
- After the Flyers cut the lead to two, Saint Louis responded with a 10-1 run of its own to go back ahead by a 62-51 margin with just 2:11 to play, which proved too large a deficit for Dayton to overcome.
- Jalen Crutcher led Dayton with 18 points and Jordan Davis chipped in 12 on 5-10 shooting.
- Crutcher also had a team-high five assists.
- Trey Landers recorded the most rebounds with eight boards.
- The Flyers shot 13-24 (54%) in the first half compared to 9-26 (35%) in the second half.
- Turnovers were a major factor as Dayton had 16 turnovers to just nine committed by Saint Louis.
- Dayton has had a significant advantage in points in the paint all season, but the Flyers and Billikens were even at 28 points apiece on Friday.
- Dayton will await its postseason fate when the NCAA and NIT Tournaments are announced on Sunday.