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Dayton throws early wrench into A-10 by upsetting Saint Bonaventure

You weren’t expecting that, were you?

NCAA Basketball: Dayton at St. Mary's Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Dayton didn’t slip off the mid-major radar for long.

The Flyers shrugged off a 6-7 start to the season by picking up an 82-72 win over Saint Bonaventure at UD Arena. It snapped an eight-game Bonnies’ winning streak, which included an emotional win at Syracuse among four true road victories.

Dayton ran out to a 14-point halftime lead, and withstood a mini-rally by SBU to pick up their biggest win in Anthony Grant’s first season. The Bonnies drew within 68-61 on a LaDarien Griffin tip in with 2:06 left, but would never get closer.

Sophomore wing Trey Landers had a career-high 17 points for the Flyers, while freshman guard Jalen Crutcher (12 points) scored in double figures for the first time in six games. But the headliner for Dayton, as it has been this season, was Darrell Davis. The senior guard has flourished in a bigger role, and poured in 28 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the upset win.

The Flyers were able to corral Jaylen Adams, holding the SBU phenom to just 15 points on three-of-11 shooting. Fellow star guard Matt Mobley did get his numbers (24 points), but it took him 19 shots to get there.

In the big picture, the outcome was not a true shock, even if KenPom gave Dayton just a 38 percent chance of winning. Road victories are tough to come by, and SBU will still have plenty of opportunities to separate itself in an A-10 that looks jumbled outside of Rhode Island.

But the Bonnies’ at-large chances, which are very much realistic, took a decent hit. Already saddled with an Adams-less loss to Niagara, SBU’s margin for error is slim, as unfair as that may be. Just ask the 2015-16 team.

They’ll look to regroup with another tricky road game at Saint Joe’s on Saturday, while Dayton hosts UMass that same day.