Northwestern hangs on for 67-64 win over Dayton (Dec 17, 2016)
CHICAGO (AP) Sanjay Lumpkin had 14 points and 14 rebounds, Bryant McIntosh had 13 points, and Northwestern survived a dismal second half for a 67-64 victory over Dayton on Saturday night.
Scottie Lindsey and Nathan Taphorn added 11 points apiece as Northwestern (9-2) won its sixth straight. The game was the first of a doubleheader at the United Center as part of the State Farm Chicago Legends.
Scoochie Smith had 18 points and Charles Cooke added 12 for Dayton (7-3), which had its five-game winning streak snapped.
Northwestern, which led by as many as 24, took charge early and appeared headed for a laugher. The Wildcats raced to an 11-0 lead less than four minutes into the game as Dayton missed its first eight shots.
Northwestern took a 40-17 halftime lead as Dayton made just 4 of 28 field-goal attempts, a 14.3 percent shooting percentage.
Cooke, who averaged 20 points in the first nine games, was scoreless in the first half on 0-for-5 shooting in 16 minutes.
The Flyers began the second half by making their first three shots and cut the deficit to 59-55 with 1:28 left on a 3-pointer by Smith. Northwestern had missed 10 straight field goals before McIntosh hit an 18-footer to make it 61-55 with a minute to play.
The Wildcats hung on from there.
Dayton: Although the Flyers entered the game with a 31-13 record against Power 5 conferences over the last 10 years, they were outclassed early on before rallying in the second half. Had Dayton started the game with some of the fire it showed after halftime, the result might have been different.
Northwestern: How the Wildcats perform during Big Ten play will ultimately determine whether they make their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in March, but they've put themselves in good position with a strong showing in the non-conference portion of the schedule - despite the limp to the finish line on Saturday. NU's two losses were against teams currently ranked (Butler and Notre Dame) by a combined six points.
Dayton: The Flyers host Vanderbilt on Wednesday to begin a three-game home stand.
Northwestern: The Wildcats wrap up the non-conference schedule with a pair of home games, IUPUI on Tuesday and Houston Baptist on Thursday.