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Published: Friday, January 17, 2020 @ 7:58 PM
ST. LOUIS —
Jalen Crutcher hit a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer in overtime to give the Dayton Flyers one of their biggest victories of the season — and certainly the grittiest. UD trailed 55-42 with 7:42 to play in the second half.
No. 13 Dayton beat Saint Louis 78-76 on Friday at Chaifetz Arena. Saint Louis took a 76-75 lead on two free throws by Yuri Collins with 6 seconds left.
Crutcher took the in-bounds pass, dribbled around the 3-point line to get space and launched the game winner. Just 0.1 seconds was left on the clock. Saint Louis launched a long shot that wouldn’t have counted anyway as time expired.
» NATIONAL ATTENTION: Dayton ‘most fun team to watch’ in college basketball
Dayton won its seventh straight game, improving to 16-2 and 5-0 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The victory, coupled with a win Tuesday against Virginia Commonwealth, gives Dayton a chance to move into the top 10 for the first time this season in the Associated Press poll.
» MARCH FORECAST: Where UD stands in NCAA tournament picture
Crutcher scored a game-high 21 points on 7-of-17 shooting. He scored Dayton’s last seven points, making 4 of 4 free throws in the final minute.
Obi Toppin had 20 points. Ibi Watson scored 17.
Dayton overcame the 13-point deficit with a 24-6 run and led by five with 1:59 to play only to have the Billikens force overtime on a last-second shot by Jordan Goodwin.
Jalen Crutcher made that shot in front of a number of family members who made the trip from Memphis. His mom Sheila, however, was too nervous to watch and was in the hallway throughout OT. pic.twitter.com/jHgMffnSH9— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) January 18, 2020
The Flyers faced a halftime deficit for the first time this season Friday, trailing Saint Louis 33-25.
Crutcher missed a layup in the final seconds. Toppin rebounded the ball but missed a dunk at the buzzer. It was that kind of half for No. 13 Dayton, which shot 33 percent from the field and 10 percent (1 of 10) from 3-point range.
Saint Louis, the worst free-throw shooting team in the country, could have had a bigger lead. It made 3 of 12 free throws.
Dayton went through a seven-minute stretch in which it scored one point and then cut the deficit to 21-20 only to give up a 10-0 run in the next three-plus minutes.
Goodwin led Saint Louis with nine points. Watson scored seven for Dayton. Toppin had six points on 2-of-11 shooting.
Dayton trailed by as many as 11 points. It was the first time this season it trailed by double digits.
That kind of night for Dayton, which trails at the half for the first time this season: 33-25. pic.twitter.com/kknGnHbW0A— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) January 18, 2020
Obi Toppin opened scoring. Dayton scoreless in last four minutes. pic.twitter.com/79IzQ5MzNZ— David Jablonski (@DavidPJablonski) January 18, 2020