Dayton wins in 1st round of A-10 tourney

NEW YORK (AP) — Vee Sanford tied a career high with 23 points off the bench on a perfect shooting day, and Dayton beat Fordham 87-74 on Thursday in the first round of the Atlantic 10 tournament in another boost to the Flyers’ NCAA tournament hopes.

Fifth-seeded Dayton has won 10 of 11 to go from a team with little hope for an NCAA bid to one that will give the selection committee plenty to think about. The Flyers (23-9) face fourth-seeded Saint Joseph’s in Friday’s quarterfinals in a match up of two bubble teams. The Hawks swept Dayton in the regular season.

The Flyers led by as many as 22 points, though the 13th-seeded Rams briefly made things interesting early in the second half. But it’s hard to completely erase a huge deficit when the opponent rarely misses. Dayton shot 59 percent from the floor and made 9 of 19 3-point attempts.

Sanford was 9 for 9 from the field, including three 3-pointers, and made both free throws.

Branden Frazier scored 30 points for Fordham (10-21) but shot just 8 of 27. He made 10 of 11 free throws and had four 3-pointers. The Rams beat 12th-seeded George Mason in Wednesday’s play-in game to snap an eight-game losing streak and win a conference tournament game for the first time since 2007.

The Flyers dropped five of six to finish January, but only one of those losses was a bad one, at Rhode Island. Since then, they’ve been almost unbeatable, though the lone defeat came at Saint Joseph’s on Feb. 25. The hot streak included a road victory over then-No. 17 Saint Louis.

Their non-conference resume features a neutral-site win over Gonzaga.

Fordham had the ball down 66-61 midway through the second half but Jon Severe forced up a 3-point attempt that missed badly. Jordan Sibert pushed the ball up the floor for a layup that gave Dayton some breathing room.

Sibert finished with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Devin Oliver had 17 points and 11 rebounds. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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