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Duquesne Basketball

Duquesne Undone by 2nd Half against No. 5 Dayton



DAYTON — The fifth-ranked Dayton men’s basketball team was looking to pull away from Duquesne when Obi Toppin drove through the lane and offered a windmill dunk, which even had Dukes guard Lamar Norman Jr offer a wince towards his team’s bench.

After leading at halftime, Dayton shot 48.1% from the field, besting Duquesne by an 80-70 score Saturday at UD Arena.

Duquesne (18-9, 8-6 Atlantic 10) was led by sophomore guard Sincere Carry’s 21 points and six assists. Both Baylee Steele and Marcus each scored 17 points.

Dayton (25-2, 14-0 Atlantic 10) was led by Toppin’s 28 points on 9-of-13 shooting, which included three three-point shots, matching his season high. Jalen Crutcher scored all 17 of his points in the second half. Trey Landers recorded his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

It was a rather physical first half, though the officiating crew let both teams play.

Early on, it was Carry who got the Duquesne offense going scoring seven of the team’s opening 11 points as he battled with Toppin who was sinking threes and finding ways to score as well.

Weathers was also a first-half difference maker after being substituted back following nearly five-and-a-half minute early stint on the bench.

With 1:30 left in the first half, Duquesne had possession and Hughes tried backing down a Flyer in the post as the shot clock was close to expiring. Hughes found a cutting Baylee Steele for a dunk which saw the Duquesne bench loudly cheer in approval.

As Dayton brought the ball down the court, Tavian Dunn-Martin stole the ball and passed to Carry in transition as the later made a basket.

Toppin beat the buzzer with a finger-roll layup, though it was Duquesne which led Dayton 38-36 at halftime. It was the second consecutive season Duquesne led at Dayton after 20 minutes of play in a half that featured 12 ties and six lead changes.

At the beginning of the second half, Duquesne committed three fouls in the first 1:20 of action. Duquesne then pressured Toppin who found a cutting Ryan Mikesell for an easy layup.

After Duquesne came up empty on its next possession, Toppin was able to dunk and coach Keith Dambrot quickly called a timeout.

Dayton went on an 8-2 scoring run after the timeout and Duquesne used another timeout after Crutcher buried an open three-point shot.

The three seemed to spark Dayton as Crutcher who buried another, as did Rodney Chatman. The Flyers carried that confidence over to the defensive end as Duquesne had issued with double teams which forced turnovers and rushed shot selections, as it saw its deficit reach 17 points.

Duquesne was able to get back into the game as it strung possessions together, made shots and switched into a diamond press after made baskets and free throws.

Dayton was largely able to handle the press after a brief timeout and was able to close out Duquesne in the final minutes.

Duquesne will once again take to the road as it will face St. Bonaventure Wednesday evening. The game will be broadcast by Stadium which has a limited television market, but also has an online broadcast which can be viewed.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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