Dayton holds off Butler’s late run at Atlantis, 69-64

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Jalen Crutcher scored 20 points to help Dayton beat Butler 69-64 in Wednesday night’s first round at the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Josh Cunningham added 18 points for the Flyers (4-0), who shot 54 percent and never trailed. Dayton closed the first half with seven straight points to take a 37-26 lead and led by 15 points before holding off a late surge by the Bulldogs (3-1).

Cunningham, a preseason all-Atlantic 10 first-team pick, missed the first two games with a hand injury suffered in practice. He had 20 points on 9-for-10 shooting in last week’s debut against Purdue Fort Wayne, and then made 7 of 11 shots while pulling down eight rebounds Wednesday.

Paul Jorgensen and Sean McDermott each scored 18 points to lead Butler. High-scoring guard Kamar Baldwin finished with 11 on 5-for-17 shooting after coming in averaging 23.3 points.

Butler shot 40 percent, including 7 of 23 from 3-point range.