No. 17 St. Mary's holds on for 61-57 win at Dayton
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) Calvin Hermanson opened the game with a layup. Jock Landale was fouled and made both free throws, and then had a dunk. St. Mary's was off and running toward an impressive road win.
Hermanson scored 16 points - most of them from the perimeter - and Landale scored most of his 15 off moves to the basket on Saturday. The outside-inside attack swept No. 17 St. Mary's to a 61-57 victory over Dayton in the Gaels' first road game.
The Gaels (3-0) led the whole way, pulling ahead by 20 points midway through the second half and holding off a late Dayton rally. Until the closing minutes, they felt very relaxed.
''Coming out to the big start not only got the crowd out of it, but gave us confidence for the rest of the game,'' said Hermanson, who fouled out with 2:52 left. ''We started running our stuff and getting great shots and realizing we could almost get what we wanted. We were able to settle in once we had some success.''
Those last 3 minutes left them sweating one out.
The Flyers (2-1) took advantage of the Gaels' sloppiness - 10 turnovers in the second half - and went on a 14-1 run. Charles Cooke's jumper cut it to 59-57 with 25 seconds left. Emmett Naar hit two free throws with 7.2 seconds left to clinch it.
''We knew the storm was coming,'' coach Randy Bennett said. ''We weathered most of it.''
Cooke scored 19 for the Flyers , who are 1-2 against Top 25 teams over the last two seasons.
''I told them I'm not most disappointed with the loss, but with how we lost,'' coach Archie Miller said. ''The last 8 minutes is how we should have played the whole 40 minutes.''
Landale - a 6-foot-11 center - had his way inside early, working the pick-and-roll for layups. Landale and Hermanson scored all of St. Mary's points as the Gaels pulled ahead 19-11. The Gaels led by as many as 14 in the half.
''I don't know that anybody has answers against them,'' Miller said. ''They're able to do what they do against anybody. We won't be the only team that struggles against them.''
The Gaels were coming off a 110-72 win over Prairie View A&M, their first 100-point game since 2012.
Landale got a technical foul for grabbing the rim while trying for a put-back dunk in the second half.
ON THE BOARDS
Landale had 14 rebounds, helping St. Mary's get a 38-31 edge in rebounds.
St. Mary's: The Gaels were ranked in the preseason poll for the first time in their history and put themselves in position to move up with an impressive road win. The Flyers have won 36 of their last 40 home games.
''Heck of a win,'' Bennett said. ''We know what Dayton is. We had to play well, and we did until the last 3 minutes. Playing a Top 25 (caliber) team on their court, out of your region - those are tough games to get.''
Dayton: The Flyers have been on the verge of entering the poll, but the home-court loss will put that on hold for now.
St. Mary's: The Gaels came into the game third in Division I in field-goal percentage at 58.5 percent and showed their patience on the road. They had 16 assists on 20 field goals.
Dayton: Sophomore forward Josh Cunningham tore a ligament in his left ankle during a 77-72 win at Alabama on Tuesday and had surgery. The Flyers said Saturday he'll be sidelined for at least three months.
St. Mary's: Hosts San Jose State on Tuesday.
Dayton: Plays Nebraska on Thursday in the Wooden Legacy tournament.
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