Dayton looks to win its first eight games of the season for the first time in four years when it hosts Indiana-Purdue-Indianapolis on Saturday.
The 25th-ranked Flyers (7-0) joined the AP Top 25 this week after home wins over Miami of Ohio and Wagner last week. Dayton played its first game with the ranking on Tuesday, and came back to beat Louisiana-Lafayette 66-59 at UD Arena.
The Flyers trailed by nine at halftime, but Ramod Marshall made up for a subpar night with two key 3-point shots late in the game to lead the comeback.
Marshall had just 10 points—almost seven below his average—but hit two 3s in the final 1:33 as Dayton remained undefeated under first-year coach Brian Gregory.
“We made some adjustments at halftime,” Gregory said. “We didn’t get the ball inside against the zone. I think we did a better job in the second half. That’s the first team that’s zoned us all year. After tonight, maybe more teams will.”
Gregory, who was an associate head coach on Tom Izzo’s staff at Michigan State, is the first Flyers coach to start his career with seven straight wins since Alfred McCray’s 1915-16 team began the year 7-0. The university was known as St. Mary’s Institute then before changing its name to Dayton in 1920.
Dayton hasn’t began a season with eight straight wins since the 1999-00 season.
IUPUI (4-1) lost six seniors from last year’s team, but then opened this season with four straight wins before losing 86-68 at Vanderbilt in its last contest on Dec. 3.
The Jaguars led 41-38 at halftime, but the Commodores used a 21-9 run to open the second half. Senior Odell Bradley recorded his third double-double of the year with 25 points and 11 rebounds for IUPUI.
“I’m really, really proud of our kids,” IUPUI coach Ron Hunter said. “We came in here and played some hard minutes. We wanted to come in here and show people we can play … that we can compete at this level.”
The Jaguars, who are in their sixth season of Division I-A competition, have beaten two major conference teams (Georgia Tech, Northwestern) in their history.