DAYTON, Ohio (AP) Scoochie Smith hit a 3-pointer that put No. 19 Dayton ahead to stay as the Flyers overcame a late 12-point deficit and beat Duquesne 76-74 on Tuesday night.
The Flyers (20-3, 10-1 Atlantic 10) got their eighth straight win by going on a closing 19-5 run. Smith’s 3-pointer from the top of the arc put Dayton ahead 73-70 with 46 seconds left, and the Dukes (15-9, 5-6) never pulled even again. Smith hit a free throw with 2.7 seconds left.
Charles Cooke led Dayton with 22 points and Smith added 14.
Micah Mason had 27 points for Duquesne. Derrick Colter had 19 of his 21 in the second half.
Dayton took the court with its highest regular-season ranking since Nov. 19, 2009. The Flyers hadn’t been ranked so highly this late in the regular season since Feb. 15, 1968.
They needed their home-court advantage to pull it out. They have won 35 of their last 36 at home, and have won 20 straight A-10 games at Dayton Arena.
Mason missed the Dukes’ 66-58 loss to the Flyers on Jan. 2 with an ankle injury. He made the difference early, hitting his first three shots from beyond the arc and his first five overall. He had 13 points as the Dukes pulled ahead 28-16, making 12 of their first 17 shots overall against the A-10’s stingiest defense.
Sam Miller had two 3s and a follow-up basket as Dayton went on an 11-0 run. The Dukes went more than 4 minutes without a basket, helping Dayton pull into a 35-35 tie at halftime.
The Flyers opened the second half with a 10-2 run featuring a layup, a free throw and a 3-pointer by Kyle Davis.
Colter, the Dukes’ leading scorer at 18.3 points per game, made only one of his six shots in the first half. He rallied the Dukes after Dayton’s opening run in the second half, making two 3s and a three-point play as the Dukes pulled ahead 56-53 midway through the half.
Two 3-pointers by Mason pushed the lead to 69-57 with 5:41 to go, but the Dukes couldn’t hold on.
Duquesne coach Jim Ferry got a technical foul while yelling at referee Tony Chiazza after one of the Dukes was called for a foul with 3:48 left in the first half.
Duquesne: The Dukes are 47-118 all-time against ranked teams. They beat No. 10 Saint Louis 71-64 on Feb. 27, 2014, and lost to No. 17 VCU 70-64 on Jan. 17, 2015, in their last two.
Dayton: Dyshawn Pierre had only six points, ending his streak of nine consecutive games in double figures. Pierre missed the first part of the season under a university suspension, but has played in the last 12 games, starting 10.
Duquesne: Hosts Massachusetts on Sunday.
Dayton: Plays at Rhode Island on Friday.
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