EditorsNote: 7th graf, take out extra word ‘win’; smaller changes throughout
Obi Toppin scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half but left early in the second half with an apparent ankle injury as No. 15 Dayton earned a fifth straight victory, 88-60, over Massachusetts on Saturday in Dayton, Ohio.
Toppin, a 6-foot-9 sophomore and national player of the year candidate who entered averaging 19.5 points and 7.7 rebounds, was a force in the first half. He threw down three dunks and shot 6 of 9 from the field as the Flyers (14-2, 3-0 Atlantic 10) scored the first nine points of the game, recorded an 11-0 run at one point and shot 58.8 percent to lead 48-22 at halftime.
However, with Dayton in control at the 15:12 mark of the second half, Toppin appeared to roll his left ankle while back-stepping near a UMass player. After being down for a bit, Toppin walked off on his own power. The school didn’t provide official details of the injury, but he returned to the Flyers’ bench in a walking boot.
Though the severity of Toppin’s injury is uncertain, his absence did not make a difference for Dayton, which had six players score in double figures and led by as many as 30 en route to its 10th consecutive home victory.
Ryan Mikesell had 15 points with 14 rebounds, Trey Landers scored 13 and Jalen Crutcher added 12 as the Flyers improved to 3-0 in conference play for the third time in four seasons.
Freshman Tre Mitchell had 16 points for UMass (7-9, 1-2), which shot 26.1 percent and committed 12 of its 21 turnovers in the first half.
The young Minutemen shot 38.5 percent for the game and lost their 18th consecutive conference road contest since winning 62-60 at Dayton on Jan. 6, 2018.
Though UMass showed a little more life while being outscored 40-38 in the second half, it fell to 2-9 since opening the season with five consecutive victories. The Minutemen were outrebounded 40-31 and outscored 58-20 in the paint.
—Field Level Media