Dayton basketball: Turnovers turn out to be crucial as Flyers finish season sweep of Saint Louis

Rebounding was the focus for Dayton heading into a second matchup of the season with Saint Louis.

Although the Flyers grabbed the last one of the day when Trey Landers collected Javonte Perkins’ missed layup , they lost that battle 33-26.

>>READ MORE: NCAA reveals bracket preview

Fortunately for coach Anthony Grant’s team, Dayton took care of the ball well enough Saturday it didn’t matter.

"We knew that was going to be critical," Grant said after the Flyers won 71-65 Saturday. "They're really, really good in transition, and they hurt us tonight several times in transition. We knew it would be important to keep them out of transition. The best way to do that is to take care of the ball and be as efficient as we can be, making sure that we get shots."

The coach of the Flyers was able to high five the students with a smile on his face after the final horn sounded with the scoreboard showing another Dayton win largely because the Flyers forced 13 turnovers and committed a season-low six.

The Atlantic 10 leaders outscored the Billikens 13-8 off turnovers in a six-point win.

>>RELATED: Game story

Dayton point guard Jalen Crutcher tied Obi Toppin with a team-high 17 points despite shooting only 4 for 13 from the field.

Perhaps more importantly, Crutcher handed out four assists and finished with no turnovers.

“Coach Grant always preaches we're a great team as long as we don't turn the ball over so that's what we try to do,” Crutcher said. “I think we're one of the best in the country in offensive efficiency, so we try not turn the ball over.”

The Flyers ended up with an 11-9 advantage in fastbreak points while sweeping the season series with SLU, a 78-76 loser in the first matchup when Crutcher hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds.

“We didn't have a great shooting night tonight, but we made plays,” Grant said. “Our guys were able to put each other in positions where they could have success. A couple big plays there by Jalen, some by Obi and some by other guys whether it was offensively or defensively.”

About the Author