Dayton avoids late Monmouth surge for a 73-70 victory

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Scoochie Smith had 19 points as Dayton nearly blew a 16-point lead before advancing to the championship game of the AdvoCare Invitational by beating Monmouth 73-70 on Friday night.

The Flyers will face No. 23 Xavier in the title game. It's the second time in three years that Dayton (5-0) has started the season by winning its first five.

Justin Robinson tied a career-high with 28 points for Monmouth (3-2), which beat No. 17 Notre Dame 70-68 in a first-round game Thursday. It was the Hawks' first-ever win over a ranked team.

Monmouth fought back midway through the second. However, Chris Brady missed the free throw on a potential 3-point play that would have tied at 68 with 1:52 to play.

Smith then buried a 3-pointer 20 seconds later.

Dayton opened the second half with a 10-0 run to go up 47-32 with 14 minutes left.

Monmouth and USC will play in Sunday's third-place game.