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Toppin leads Dayton to 80-61 rout of Georgia

Dayton’s Obi Toppin is fouled by Georgia’s Rayshaun Hammonds on a second-half drive during the Flyers’ 80-61 win over Georgia on Monday. The Maui News MATTHEW THAYER photos

LAHAINA — Dayton fans brought all the hype from Ohio to the Lahaina Civic Center on Monday morning, pushing the Flyers’ energy levels through the roof.

The crowd chanted “We are UD” throughout the Flyers’ opening game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational as forward Obi Toppin poured in 25 points in a 80-61 victory over Georgia.

“It’s a great gym to play in. A lot of our fans came out and supported us, filled the whole gym up, like, I’m sure you all heard them throughout the whole game,” said Toppin, who also had four rebounds. “It wasn’t a big gym like what we’re used to playing every single day, but it’s a great gym and we just did what we had to do today.”

Flyers guard Jalen Crutcher added 20 points, including four 3-pointers, and added three assists. Rodney Chatman scored nine and had two assists for Dayton, who will face Virginia Tech in the semifinals today at 3 p.m.

“Playing in this gym, it’s a dream come true,” Crutcher said. “It’s a blessing for me because I’ve been growing up watching this tournament and I’m sure same for Obi, so it’s just a dream come true.”

The Flyers’ Jordy Tshimanga drives against the Bulldogs’ Toumani Camara in the second half.

The Flyers (4-0) led from early in the game, with Toppin’s 12 points and Chatman’s basket in the first four minutes creating a 14-2 gap.

The crowd went wild when Crutcher sank a 3-pointer right before the halftime buzzer to push the Flyers up 43-25.

The Bulldogs (4-1) tried to come back in the second half, with Donnell Gresham’s basket drawing Georgia within 55-42 at the 12:40 mark, but they could not get any closer.

Tye Fagan led Georgia with 11 points. Sahvir Wheeler and Toumani Camara added seven points each.

“Just playing at this level, this intensity, the amount of fans that are into it, the pressure that’s on us, it’s not really any pressure, but just what’s at stake at this level, especially in this Maui Invitational, it’s a first for all of us,” Wheeler said. “Maybe we weren’t used to that, when we played some decent basketball we had turnovers down, we were sharing the ball, we were cutting and that’s just stuff we’re going to look back on film and get better from and continue to move forward.”

Both teams finished shooting 49 percent from the floor, but the Flyers forced 23 turnovers from the Bulldogs, who take on No. 3 Michigan State in a consolation semifinal today at 9:30 a.m.

“I’m sure I’ll watch the film and I’ll see some good things, but the bottom line is we knew we were going against a really, really good team and they were, they were every bit as good as I thought they were on film and we did not respond the way that we need to respond to it as wholly as we need to,” Georgia coach Tom Crean said. “So we have to turn around and have a much better response tomorrow.”

* Dakota Grossman is at dgrossman@mauinews.com.

GEORGIA (4-1)

Ngumezi 3-6 0-1 6, Hammonds 2-4 0-0 5, Crump 0-3 0-0 0, Edwards 2-10 2-3 6, Gresham 3-4 0-0 6, Walton 0-0 2-2 2, Brown 1-3 3-6 6, Camara 3-5 1-2 7, Peake 2-2 0-0 5, Howard 0-0 0-0 0, Wheeler 3-7 1-3 7, Etter 0-0 0-0 0, Turnier 0-0 0-0 0, Fagan 5-5 0-0 11. Totals 24-49 9-17 61.

DAYTON (4-0)

Mikesell 1-3 1-2 3, Toppin 9-11 5-5 25, Landers 1-2 3-4 5, Chatman 4-10 0-0 9, Crutcher 7-15 2-2 20, Johnson 0-1 2-2 2, Tshimanga 1-1 1-2 3, Wilson 0-1 0-0 0, Greer 0-0 0-0 0, Watson 2-6 0-0 6, Matos 0-2 0-0 0, Cohill 2-3 2-2 7, Swerlein 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-55 16-19 80.

Halftime–Dayton 43-25. 3-Point Goals–Georgia 4-16 (Brown 1-1, Peake 1-1, Fagan 1-1, Hammonds 1-2, Wheeler 0-1, Camara 0-1, Gresham 0-1, Crump 0-3, Edwards 0-5), Dayton 10-27 (Crutcher 4-9, Toppin 2-3, Watson 2-4, Cohill 1-1, Chatman 1-5, Mikesell 0-1, Wilson 0-1, Landers 0-1, Matos 0-2). Fouled Out–Hammonds. Rebounds–Georgia 25 (Hammonds 4), Dayton 23 (Johnson, Toppin, Cohill 4). Assists–Georgia 8 (Wheeler 4), Dayton 10 (Crutcher 3). Total Fouls–Georgia 24, Dayton 17. A–2,400 (2,400).