No. 22 Saint Louis falls to Dayton 76-71 in first game back

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jalen Crutcher scored 27 points and Ibi Watson added 18 to lead the Dayton Flyers to a 76-71 win over No. 22 Saint Louis Tuesday night.

Saint Louis was playing its first game since Dec. 23 as the program suspended team activities due to a COVID-19 outbreak just before the team’s first scheduled conference game Dec. 30.

Javonte Perkins led the Billikens with 20 points and Hasahn French added 16 points.

Saint Louis (7-2, 0-1 Atlantic-10) hit just three of 13 shots from 3-point range despite converting 51% of its field goal attempts. The Billikens also made just 10 of 17 free throws.

Dayton (9-4, 5-3) opened the game on a 9-2 run over the first 3:57 and never trailed in the contest.

Saint Louis tied the game for the first time since the opening tipoff when Perkins hit a jump shot to pull the teams even 53-53 with 4:54 remaining in the second half

The teams traded baskets until the Flyers pulled away on an 8-0 run featuring a layup and 3-point basket from Crutcher.

Crutcher, the Flyers’ leading scorer, scored at least 23 points for the sixth time this season.

Dayton outscored Saint Louis 36-31 in the first half thanks to converting seven of 15 shots from 3-point range.

INSIDE DOMINATION:

Saint Louis senior Jordan Goodwin had 11 points and 11 rebounds giving him his eighth double-double in nine games this season to keep him among the nation’s leaders despite Saint Louis missing seven games. Goodwin is one of 10 finalists for the Jerry West Award given to the nation’s best shooting guard.

BIG PICTURE:

Dayton: The Flyers sit in fifth place in the Atlantic-10 standings after leading the conference last season.

Saint Louis: The Billikens entered the game seventh nationally in rebounding margin grabbing an average of 10.8 more boards than their opponents.

UP NEXT:

Dayton: Hosts Rhode Island Saturday.

Saint Louis: At Richmond on Friday night.

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For more AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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