DAYTON, Ohio (Ticker) -- Dayton did not play like a top 25 team.
Ramod Marshall hit two crucial 3-pointers in the final 2 1/2 minutes as the 24th-ranked Flyers overcame a sluggish first half for a 66-59 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette.
In its first game since moving into the rankings on Sunday, Dayton (7-0) trailed, 40-31, at intermission. The Ragin' Cajuns made seven 3-pointers in the opening half.
The Flyers tightened their defense in the second half but could not shake the Ragin' Cajuns until Marshall's back-to-back 3-pointers provided a 63-57 lead with 1:15 remaining.
Keith Waleskowski scored 18 points and Sean Finn and Mark Jones added 16 apiece for Dayton, which is off to just its second 7-0 start in the last 38 years.
"We weren't attacking the rim (in the first half)," Dayton coach Brian Gregory said. "We can't play into their hands like that. Our big men were finding spaces in the zone instead of getting contact. Post up, get contact and keep going inside."
Brad Boyd scored 20 points and Antoine Landry added 19 for the Ragin' Cajuns (1-2), who had been off since November 24.
"I thought their transition offense was just excellent," Ragin' Cajuns coach Jessie Evans said. "Their big guy, Finn, runs the floor really well. And they do a good job of finding him out of a transition. When we're at full strength, we try to do the same thing. I just don't have a guard as quick as Marshall."
Despite the long layoff, Louisiana-Lafayette did not look rusty, ending the first half with a 14-4 spurt. The Flyers were held without a basket for the final 4:45 of the half.
However, they responded by scoring the first 14 points of the second half. Dayton shot just 35 percent from the field, but stayed in the game by making 11-of-35 3-pointers.
Boyd's 3-pointer tied it, 57-57, with 2:45 remaining, but Marshall's 3-pointer 15 seconds later gave the Flyers the lead for good. After Boyd missed from beyond the arc, Marshall's second 3-pointer staked Dayton to a six-point lead. Marshall scored seven of his 10 points in the final 2 1/2 minutes.
"Our big guys did a tremendous job in the second half getting contact," Gregory said. "That was the game right there. I think we can play like that all the time."
Dayton dominated on the boards, outrebounding Louisiana-Lafayette, 42-26. Finn grabbed 11 rebounds and Waleskowski and Jones pulled down nine apiece.