DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Jalen Crutcher and Ryan Mikesell scored 16 points apiece, and No. 13 Dayton finally shook free at the end Tuesday night for a 71-58 victory over North Texas.
The Flyers (9-1) took the court with their highest ranking since December 1968, when they made it as high as No. 6. A sloppy second half kept it close.
Dayton turned it over eight times in the second half, helping North Texas (4-7) cut the lead to nine points with six minutes left. Crutcher hit an unguarded 3-pointer that blunted the comeback, and the Mean Green fell short in their bid for a fourth all-time win over a ranked team.
The Mean Green tied the school record with 19 3-pointers during their last game, a 23-point win over Little Rock. Dayton extended its defense and made sure there would be no repeat.
The Mean Green missed six of their first seven shots — only one from beyond the arc — while Dayton pulled ahead 14-2. The Flyers’ surge stalled, and North Texas kept it within single digits most of the half.
Obi Toppin and Mikesell hit 3s during a late first-half run that built the lead to 16 points.
After missing all four of their shots from beyond the arc in the first half, the Mean Green made four in a row — each by a different player — to open the second half. North Texas cut it to 57-48 on Umoja Gibson’s 3-pointer.
Crutcher’s open 3 from the corner blunted the comeback. North Texas turned it over twice in the final minute to help Dayton put it away.
The game took on an edge during an inbounds play in the second half, with players jawing at each other. The referees separated the teams and gave technical fouls to North Texas’ James Reese and Dayton’s Trey Landers.
North Texas: The Mean Green played their first two games against ranked teams close, losing by three points to VCU and by nine against Utah State. North Texas’ last win over a ranked team came on Feb. 27, 1971, a 79-73 victory at Louisville.
Dayton: The Flyers came in with the best field goal percentage in Division I (54%) and the most assists (20.1) per game. Against North Texas, they shot 50% from the field and had 20 assists on 24 baskets.
North Texas hosts UAPB on Saturday.
Dayton plays Colorado on Saturday at the United Center as part of the Chicago Legends event.