EditorsNote: fix hed to add Dayton, tweaked 4th graf, other minor edits
Obi Toppin scored 24 points and No. 13 Dayton rode a 22-0 run in the second half to defeat visiting Virginia Commonwealth 79-65 on Tuesday night.
Dayton (15-2, 4-0 Atlantic 10) won its sixth straight, while the Rams fell to 12-5 and 2-2 in conference play.
But the big story for the Flyers was Toppin being healthy enough to play. The redshirt sophomore, who last week was named to the Wooden Award midseason watch list, injured his ankle in Saturday's game against Massachusetts and his status was in doubt.
Toppin got off to a slow start, scoring just three points in the first six minutes. But in the last six minutes of the first half, he scored eight points to finish the half with 11 points and five rebounds as the Flyers opened a 38-33 advantage at halftime.
With the score tied at 41-all, the Flyers scored 22 straight points with Toppin (nine points) and Trey Landers (seven points) doing most of the damage.
By the time Vince Williams connected on a free throw to break the run, the Rams had gone nearly seven minutes without scoring and trailed 63-41.
The Rams trimmed the deficit to 10 at 75-65 with 1:22 left but ran out of time.
Jalen Crutcher finished with 20 points after carrying the Flyers offense in the first half before Toppin took over. Landers added 16 points and nine rebounds.
De'Riante Jenkins and Nah'Shon Hyland each scored 16 points to lead the Rams.
There were seven lead changes and the game was tied four times in the first 20 minutes, but it didn't take long for the Rams to erase their halftime deficit and take an early second-half lead on Marcus Evans' jumper at 18:18 to make it 39-38.
Landers' 3-pointer gave the Flyers the lead back before a dunk by Jenkins tied the game before Dayton went on its run.
The Flyers' defense held the Rams to just 43 percent from the field and allowed VCU to make just 3 of 20 from beyond the arc.
Dayton, which came in averaging 83.4 points per game, made 50 percent of its field goals, including 7 of 21 from long range.
--Field Level Media