By Martin Sadongdong
Fourth ranked Dayton Flyers passed the Atlantic 10 Conference test with flying colors as it clinched the regular season crown for the first time in three years, beating Davidson Wildcats 82-67 in the US National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s basketball held at the University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio on Saturday (Philippine Standard Time).
The Flyers marked their 18th straight win by topping the Atlantic 10 Conference with a perfect 16-0 record,; they boast of a 27-2 overall slate.
Their only losses since the start of the NCAA 2019-20 season came from the Kansas Jayhawks on November 28 (90-84) and Colorado Buffaloes on December 22 (78-76).
Dayton power forward Obadiah Toppin was a sight to behold with an array of highlight plays.
At 14:42 in the second half, he threw a monster slam off a step inside the foul line as the Flyers led the Wildcats 54-33. In the succeeding play, he sank a reverse windmill in another breakaway play to the roar of the home crowd.
Toppin finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and four assists in 34 minutes. Four other Dayton players finished in double figures.
Guards Kellan Grady and Jon Axel Gudmundsson scored 22 and 20 for the Wildcats but they could not get the needed support from teammates.
Dayton will wrap up the regular season with two more games ahead of the highly-anticipated March Madness. The Flyers face Rhode Island Rams on March 5 and George Washington Colonials on March 8.
It is worthy to note that the Flyers have beaten the Rams in their first square-off last February 12 (81-67), while it would be the first time this season that they will go against the Colonials.
Meanwhile, the Davidson Wildcats (15-13 record) take on Richmond Spiders on March 4 and Virginia Commonwealth University Rams on March 7.