Thursday, February 27, 2003

Dayton 82, Rhode Island 70

The Associated Press

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. - It was as much No. 25 Dayton's defense as its red-hot shooting that lifted it to an 82-70 win over Rhode Island on Wednesday night.

Brooks Hall had 20 points as the Flyers shot 54 percent overall and 12-of-19 on 3-pointers to hand the Rams their fourth straight loss.

Dayton (20-5, 12-2 Atlantic 10) held Rhode Island to 2-of-12 from behind the 3-point line and 39 percent shooting.

"Anytime you play defense the way we played, and you get on a little tear offensively, you usually get some separation," Dayton coach Oliver Purnell said. "Give our kids credit. We kept our poise in the second half and our offense carried us."

Rhode Island (15-10, 7-7) opened the second half with an 11-0 run, with four points apiece from Brian Woodward and Lazare Adingono.

Trailing 41-39 with 16:40 to play, Dayton went on a 20-5 spurt. Ramod Marshall hit three consecutive 3-point shots, while Hall connected on two 3-pointers and made all three free throws after being fouled on another attempt. The Flyers went 6-for-6 on 3s in the second half.

Dayton's largest lead of the game was 66-51 after Hall scored on a layup with 8:45 to play in the game.

Rhode Island pulled within 72-64 on Dustin Hellenga's 3-pointer with 4:52 to play, but Dayton scored five points in a row.

Marshall finished with 17 points and 11 assists. Keith Waleskowski and Mark Jones scored 15 points apiece for Dayton and Sean Finn added 10, putting all five Dayton starters in double figures.

Woodward led Rhode Island with 18 points and Adingono went for 17.

Rhode Island played the closing minutes of the first half and the entire second half without senior point guard Howard Smith, who left the game with a sprained right knee.

Rhode Island built a 22-13 lead early in the game with a 9-0 run. Dawan Robinson had a steal and dunk, hit two free throws and assisted on a three-point play by Woodward during the burst.

Rhode Island held a 24-15 lead after Terrence Mack's basket with 9:10 to play in the first half, but Dayton hit four 3-pointers in a 24-6 half-ending run for a 39-30 halftime lead.

Jones had two 3-pointers and Waleskowski scored seven of his 11 first-half point in the final 5:34.

The Flyers, beaten 73-72 by Xavier on Saturday, already have clinched a bye in the conference's postseason tournament. Dayton has a home game with Fordham and a game at St. Bonaventure left before the tournament.

"This was a terrific win for us, especially at this time of year," Purnell said. "It's a great win as we try to build our postseason resume and as we continue to try to catch Xavier."

DAYTON (20-5)-Hall 6-11 4-4 20, Waleskowski 6-13 2-2 15, Finn 4-6 2-2 10, Marshall 6-9 1-2 17, Jones 5-8 3-4 15, Stelly 1-4 0-0 2, Green 0-2 0-0 0, Williams 1-1 0-0 3, Iguodala 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-54 12-14 82.

RHODE ISLAND (15-10)-Adingono 6-13 5-6 17, Woodward 7-9 4-5 18, Clark 0-1 2-2 2, Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Hellenga 5-13 1-1 13, Mack 2-3 0-0 4, Harmon 0-0 0-0 0, Robinson 3-13 2-3 8, Mello 0-0 0-0 0, Wise 0-5 0-0 0, Momplaisir 1-3 4-4 6, Holm 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 25-64 18-21 70.

Halftime-Dayton 39-30. 3-Point goals-Dayton 12-19 (Marshall 4-4, Hall 4-8, Jones 2-2, Williams 1-1, Waleskowski 1-2, Stelly 0-2), Rhode Island 2-12 (Hellenga 2-5, Adingono 0-3, Robinson 0-4). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Dayton 29 (Hall 6), Rhode Island 36 (Woodward, Wise 6). Assists-Dayton 23 (Marshall 11), Rhode Island 12 (Robinson 4). Total fouls-Dayton 13, Rhode Island 18. A-NA.

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