Dayton cruises in home opener
DAYTON (UD Athletics) -- The University of Dayton men's basketball team defeated the North Florida Ospreys 78-70 in both teams' season opener on Wednesday at UD Arena. The Flyers held the lead for the entirety of the second half.
The Flyers were led by Obi Toppin who achieved a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds in his first college game. Toppin was moved into the starting lineup when resdhirt senior Josh Cunningham, Dayton's MVP a year ago, was injured in practice on Tuesday. Teammates Jordan Davis (16 points) Trey Landers (15) and Ryan Mikesell (12) scored in double digits as well with Landers also notching a double-double with 10 rebounds.
1st Half: Dayton 41 North Florida 35
The Flyers came out hot shooting five-for-five in the first four minutes of the game including three explosive dunks by Obi Toppin.
North Florida took advantage from behind the arc with four three-pointers within the first 10 minutes to take the lead 21-18.
UD came firing back on an 8-0 run with two impressive fast break finishes to put the score at 26-21.
A Jordan Davis breakaway dunk and Ryan Mikesell three gave the Flyers their largest lead of the half of nine points at 34-25 with 5 minutes remaining.
The Flyers offense benefitted from dynamic play with 15 of their 41 points coming off fast breaks.
Toppin led all scoring with 12 points and three rebounds in the first half.
2nd Half: Dayton 78 North Florida 70
Jordan Davis hit back-to-back threes to extend the Flyer lead 55-45 at the 16 minute mark.
The Ospreys nearly matched their first half foul total (7) with 6 fouls within the first 7 minutes of the half.
The Flyers had a strong showing on both sides of the ball during an 11-0 run while forcing three turnovers to push the score to 68-48 at the 10 minute mark.
Teammates Trey Landers and Obi Toppin both had double-doubles before the 10 minute mark.
UD reached their largest lead of the night (20) with a Landers lay-up to put the score at 68-48.
North Florida responded with a 15-5 run to cut the lead in half with four minutes remaining.
The Flyers maintained a double-digit lead for 13 minutes of the second half.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Eight of Obi Toppin's 18 points came off of first half dunks.
Ryan Mikesell led UD with six assists. It was Mikesell's first game in over year. He missed all of last season rehabbing from double hip surgeries.
The Flyers shot 21-27 free throws (78%) while the Osprey tallied 12-14 (86%).
UD held strong in the paint with nine offensive rebounds over North Florida's three.
Trey Landers scored 10 of his 15 points in the second half converting four-of-six field goals.
Dayton attacked the rim well with five dunks and six layups compared to zero dunks and six layups for the Ospreys.
The Flyers won the turnover battle forcing 10 and giving away six, committing only half of their turnovers in the first four minutes of the game.
Every UD player who played, scored. Junior Jhery Matos and freshman Dwayne Cohill made their Dayton debuts.
The Flyers will be at home against Coppin State on Saturday, November 10th.
Game time is 7 p.m. ET.