FAIRFAX, Va. (AP)Obi Toppin had 19 points and seven rebounds as No. 4 Dayton survived a sluggish performance to beat George Mason 62-55 on Tuesday night and clinch at least a share of the Atlantic 10 regular-season title with three games to play.
Toppin, a redshirt sophomore and one of the leading candidates for National Player of the Year, scored 13 of his 19 points after halftime for the Flyers (26-2, 15-0 Atlantic 10), who own the country’s longest winning streak at 17 games.
Jalen Crutcher had 13 points as Dayton finished shooting 50% from the field.
AJ Wilson led George Mason (15-13, 4-11) with 18 points. Jordan Miller added 13 points and 10 rebounds, his first double-double of the season.
Dayton – the highest ranked team to ever play at George Mason – led for the entire first half but wasn’t able to shake George Mason. The Flyers led 30-25 at the break.
Mason scored the first five points of the second half and eventually took their its first lead of the game at 34-32 on Wilson’s jumper with 15:10 left.
Back-and-forth play followed until Dayton went on an 8-0 run to go up 49-41 with just under eight minutes remaining. Toppin had four points during that spurt, including a thunderous baseline dunk.
Mason cut it to 59-57 on Xavier Johnson’s layup with 1:18 left, but Dayton answered right back with a floater from Ibi Watson to give the Flyers a four-point lead.
Dayton: The Flyers continued their best ever start after securing their highest ranking since being ranked third in the final four polls of the 1955-56 season.
George Mason: After starting the season 11-1, the Patriots have gone 4-12. Mason needs another win to avoid matching its worst conference win total since joining the Atlantic 10 for the 2013-14 season. Mason has never defeated a ranked team at home (0-9).
Dayton: Hosts Davidson on Friday. The Flyers are 15-0 at home this season.
George Mason: At Duquesne on Saturday. The Patriots have lost five of their last six against the Dukes.
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