DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Obi Toppin scored 24 points on a tender ankle and led a 22-point run in the second half as No. 13 Dayton pulled away for a 79-65 victory over VCU on Tuesday night, ending a streak of four straight losses to the Rams.
The Flyers (15-2, 4-0 Atlantic 10) got the better of a foul-filled match-up between the league's top-scoring team and its peskiest defense, remaining unbeaten at home. Toppin had three dunks and a 3-pointer during the second-half run that broke it open.
VCU (12-5, 2-2) had won the last four against Dayton, all by five points or less, but faded after a back-and-forth opening half that included three technical fouls. De'Riante Jenkins and Nah'Shon Hyland led VCU with 16 points apiece.
Jalen Crutcher added 20 points for Dayton, which shot 50% from the field.
The Rams couldn't contain Toppin, who sprained his left ankle early in the second half of an 88-60 win over UMass on Saturday and didn't return.
Toppin moved cautiously in the opening minutes — his only shot came from behind the arc and was well off. He asserted himself out of the first media timeout, getting his first rebound and his first points on a bank shot.
Toppin couldn't get high enough for a dunk late in the first half, a reminder he was not full-strength. But he had a bank shot and two free throws as Dayton closed the half with an eight-point run for a 38-33 lead.
Toppin had three dunks and a 3, and Trey Landers made a pair of 3s and a dunk as Dayton broke open a tied game and built the lead to 63-41. The Flyers were ahead by double digits the rest of the way.
The game quickly got chippy, with three technical fouls called in the first half.
VCU's Marcus Evans was called for a foul as he and Chatman went to the floor while wrestling for the ball. As players gathered, VCU's Issac Vann and Dayton's Jordy Tshimanga exchanged words and got technicals. Less than a minute later, Jenkins also got a technical.
Evans got a technical in the second half as Dayton pulled away.
VCU: The Rams were the league's preseason favorite and won their first six games but have been inconsistent, especially on offense. They had a chance to regain some of their luster by knocking off the Flyers. They led by five points in the first half but couldn't pull it off.
Dayton: The Flyers moved up to No. 13 this week, matching their highest ranking of the season. The last time they were higher in the poll was December 1967, when they were No. 6. The convincing win over VCU left them in position for another move up.
VCU hosts St. Bonaventure on Saturday.
Dayton plays at St. Louis on Friday.
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