Roberto Dela Rosa-Finch
Forward Obi Toppin led all scorers with 22 points and 11 rebounds and fellow forward Josh Cunningham dropped 20 points (7-11 FG) to lead Dayton to a 98-59 win against Detroit Mercy Tuesday evening.
Dayton (5-3), who shot 68.5 percent from the field, stopped its three-game losing skid with the victory. The Flyers led for the entire second half and held the No. 2 scorer in the nation, freshman guard Antoine Davis, to 18 points (6-23 FG, 3-14 3FG).
“I knew, coming in, I was gon’ have (Davis). So, I just wanted to take it as a challenge and focus in on that end,” sophomore guard Jordan Davis said after the game.
Jordan Davis guarded Antoine Davis for a majority of the game (Fun fact: former Dayton guard Darrell Davis was also in attendance — so many … Davises?). This was the first time Antoine Davis was held under 20 points this season.
Primarily because of Toppin and sophomore guard Jalen Crutcher (16 points), the Flyers got back to their bread-and-butter: high-flying transition and defense.
“Offensively, we had really good ball movement all night. Shared it. We had 30 assists,” head coach Anthony Grant said postgame. “I think we had a lot of guys that were the recipient of their teammates making plays for them tonight.”
Sixteen of Toppin’s 22 points came from dunks — three of those slams were alley-oops. Crutcher dished out six assists, and Dayton scored 17 fastbreak points.
Detroit’s Davis averaged 29.0 PPG coming into this game but got off to a rough start — only making three of his first 10 shots. Detroit’s second leading scorer senior guard Josh McFolley finished with five points (2-7 FG).
Detroit (3-6) stuck with a 2-3 zone for a majority of the game but took their two baseline defenders and brought them up to the three-point line; resembling more of a 4-1 zone defense if anything.
With all the available space, Dayton simply lobbed passes into the post and corners for easy scoring; racking up 54 points in the paint.
Detroit got in too deep of a hole in the first half and started chucking up long threes in an attempt to make up for the scoring margin, but they did not fall.
- Toppin recorded his second double-double of the season
- Dayton had five players in double-digits, redshirt junior forward Ryan Mikesell with 10 and Jordan Davis with 13 and seven assists
- Apart from Antoine Davis, Detroit’s starters scored a total of 19 points
- Freshman forward Frankie Policelli scored his first career points on a transition dunk in the first half
- Detroit, ranked 12th in the nation in three-pointers made per game, made eight threes and shot 25 percent from beyond the arc
- Dayton posted a +18 rebound margin
Dayton will visit Auburn Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
Detroit Mercy continues its road trip at Toledo Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Griffin Quinn.