Flyers overcome test from Purdue Fort Wayne
DAYTON (UD Athletics) – The University of Dayton men's basketball team trailed early in the second half, but fought their way back and held on to secure their third straight victory to open the season. UD trailed 64-58 with 13:19 to go in the game, but went on a 20-4 run (including nine by Trey Landers) to take over the game.
The Flyers were led by Josh Cunningham, who scored 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting and also grabbed eight boards. This was Cunningham's first game of the season, after missing the first two due to injury. Jalen Crutcher contributed a strong game, with 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting while also contributing seven assists.
1st Half: Purdue Fort Wayne 47, Dayton 42
The game remained close throughout the half, with the largest lead being a six-point lead for Dayton.
Purdue Fort Wayne started 0-for-5 at the free throw line. On the contrary, the Mastodons shot 10-of-17 from three-point range in the half.
After Purdue Fort Wayne took a 22-18 lead, the Flyers went on a 16-6 run to take a 34-28 lead.
Seven different Flyers scored in the half, and Cunningham led the way with nine.
Purdue Fort Wayne closed the half on a 14-3 run, hitting their last seven shots.
2nd Half: Dayton 89, Purdue Fort Wayne 84
Purdue Fort Wayne started the half strong, extending their lead to 53-45 at the 18:27 mark.
The Flyers battled their way back, taking a 67-64 lead with a 9-0 run, finished off by Jordan Davis' layup at the 11:39 mark.
The Flyers proceeded to extend that lead to as much as ten.
Purdue Fort Wayne committed six turnovers in the half, compared to only three in the first half.
After being held scoreless in the first half, Ryan Mikesell contributed ten second-half points.
Purdue Fort Wayne pulled within five with 2:25 to play.
The Flyers shot 17-28 from the field in the half.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Dayton shot 60.7 percent from the field, and scored 91 points, both season highs.
Dayton outrebounded Purdue Fort Wayne, 38-22.
Seven Flyers scored at least three field goals in the game.
Five Flyers reached double figures – Josh Cunningham (20 points), Jalen Crutcher (18), Trey Landers (15), Jordan Davis (10) and Ryan Mikesell (10 off the bench).
The Flyers will travel to Nassau, Bahamas to play in the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis Nov. 21-23.
Dayton opens the tournament on Wednesday against Butler. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. ET.
Other teams in the field are Florida, Middle Tennessee State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Virginia and Wisconsin.