Roberts scores 21 to lead Dayton 66-57 over Cleveland St. in NIT

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DAYTON, Ohio (AP)—Brian Roberts scored 21 points to lead third-seeded Dayton to a 66-57 win over Cleveland State in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament on Wednesday.

Roberts scorched sixth-seeded Cleveland State on 7-of-10 shooting, and the undersized Vikings had no answer for 6-fot-10 Kurt Huelsman inside, especially with Cleveland State center Chris Moore in foul trouble.

Huelsman tallied 12 points, and Marcus Johnson and Andres Sandoval each added 11 for Dayton (22-10).

The Vikings (21-13) had the lead for nearly six minutes in the first half, but surrendered a 15-4 run to the Flyers to end the half.

Dayton extended its lead to 15 in the second half on a Jimmy Binnie three-pointer from the corner with 18:17 to play.

A final surge by the Vikings trimmed Dayton’s lead to six with 3:50 remaining, but Cleveland State missed 5 of 6 shots down the stretch.

Cedric Jackson led Cleveland State with 11 points, and Joe Davis and D’Aundray Brown chipped in 10 apiece.

Dayton—which won the NIT in 1962 and 1968—advanced to play the winner of Monday’s game between second-seeded Illinois State and No. 7 Utah State.

This was the Cleveland State’s first postseason game since the 1988 NIT. The Vikings’ hopes for an NCAA birth vanished with a loss in the Horizon League title game to Butler.

The Flyers, who won 14 of their first 15 games, lost nine of their final 16, and was defeated in the Atlantic 10 quarterfinals by Xavier.

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