Crutcher’s career night seals Dayton’s 89-78 overtime victory over Davidson

Big scoring performances from Jalen Crutcher (#10, career-high 29 points) and Ibi Watson (#2, 24 points) led the Flyers to an 89-78 overtime win over Davidson Friday night. Photo courtesy of Griffin Quinn, Flyer News.

Luc Almeda
Sports Staff Writer

Friday marked another Dayton Flyer basketball game that came down to the wire, this time resulting in a UD win. The Flyers knocked off Davidson 89-78 for a late night win on the road to move to 2-2 in conference, 6-3 on the year. Senior guard Jalen Crutcher added another marquee performance to his resume, and is continuing to put together an impressive senior campaign.

Crutcher knocked down two free-throws with 12 seconds left in regulation to put Dayton up three, but Davidson’s Kellan Grady hit a heavily contested 3 with three seconds left to send it into overtime. Fifth-year senior Ibi Watson had a decent look from deep to end it in regulation, but couldn’t put the game away. 

Crutcher and Grady went at it all game, and the pinnacle of their faceoff came in overtime as they traded clutch buckets back-and-forth. Even while cramping up during the extra period, Crutcher dropped a notable 29 points, a new career high. Grady finished the game with 27. 

Crutcher played 43 total minutes in the Flyer win. 

Watson showed up by his counterpart’s side in crunch-time, concluding his night with 23 points. Four of the eight Dayton players that saw the floor finished in double digit scoring. 

Transfer guard Elijah Weaver made his first start of his Dayton career after playing limited minutes last game and missing the games prior due to injury. He put on a strong display, scoring 11 points and dishing out 7 assists. Weaver took a couple of hits throughout the game, and he would eventually leave the game in overtime, having to be helped off the court by a trainer.

Foul trouble caused difficulties for Dayton throughout. They already had a shorter rotation than Davidson to begin, and a few touch fouls in the first half gave the Flyers concerns. Almost half of Dayton’s rotation entered the locker room in foul trouble. Moulaye Sissoko had four by the end of the first, while Jordy Tshimanga and Mustapha Amzil had two apiece. 

Dayton came out of the locker room ignited, making four 3-pointers on four shots to start the second half. Both Dayton and Davidson combined made seven 3s in the first four minutes of the half. 

The Flyers had to go with a small lineup after Tshimanga picked up a foul in an end-to-end battle out of the break. Davidson took advantage of the Flyers’ inexperience inside, as 26 of their 33 field goals came from inside the arc and they grabbed 10 offensive rebounds.

Redshirt freshman Zimi Nwokeji got a significant chunk of minutes tonight as the other big men were in foul trouble, as did freshman Koby Brea. Dayton operated efficiently with their small lineup on the offensive end, opening up driving lanes for guards that sprung kickout passes for threes. They managed to shoot 44% on 11-25 from behind the arc in the win, a far cry from the 20% combined 3-point shooting in their two conference losses. 

The Flyers entered the game as heavy underdogs after dropping two of their three first conference games. The A10 season is just getting started, but grabbing a win on the road against a solid team in Davidson is no easy task. Any conference win on the road is major, and Dayton walks away from Belk Arena winning their only matchup they will play against the Wildcats this season. The Flyers are now .500 in conference, and will look to build on this win. 

Dayton will take on Duquesne at home next Wednesday. The Flyers haven’t lost to the Dukes since 2017, and have won nine of the last 10 matchups.

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