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Updated: Sunday, December 21, 2003 12:39 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(24) Dayton 78, Prairie View 65

DAYTON, Ohio (Ticker) -- Sean Finn's hot start continued Dayton's.

Finn scored 27 points and Keith Waleskowski added 16 as the 24th-ranked Flyers jumped out to an early lead and remained unbeaten with a 78-65 victory over winless Prairie View.

Dayton (9-0) has won its first nine games for the first time since the 1965-66 season, when it opened 11-0. The Flyers completed an unbeaten five-game homestand with a decisive victory over the Panthers.

Dayton never trailed after Finn opened the game with consecutive baskets. He scored 11 points in the opening 12 minutes as the Flyers jumped out to a 21-11 lead and never looked back.

"We had an advantage inside and the guys did a good job of feeding me the ball," Finn said. "After I made my first couple, I got on a roll."

Prairie View (0-6) pulled within 30-26 late in the first half, but Finn answered with a dunk to start a 10-3 run for Dayton. Ramod Marshall buried a 3-pointer as time expired, giving the Flyers a 40-29 halftime advantage.

Finn made 12-of-13 shots from the floor as Dayton shot 52 percent (23-of-44) and made 27-of-41 free throws.

"The one I missed, I usually would make nine out of 10 times," he said.

"Sean Finn is playing as good as anyone, maybe anyone in the country right now," Dayton coach Brian Gregory said. "He single-handedly won us that game."

Waleskowski grabbed 11 rebounds and Finn had 10 as the Flyers held a commanding 41-26 advantage on the glass.

Kevin Cooper had 19 points and Tyrone Nelson added 17 for Prairie View, which is winless in three all-time meetings with Dayton.

The Panthers shot just 41 percent (23-of-56) from the floor and struggled from the free-throw line, where they made just 13-of-22 attempts.

Prairie View had two players foul out and four more with three fouls or more as it struggled to contain Finn inside.

"We've been watching Finn for a long time," Panthers coach Jerry Francis Jr. said. "Big-time players step up and make big-time plays. I think he saw our front line, saw our intensity and matched it."

Prairie View stayed close in the second half and was within five with less than 2 1/2 minutes remaining, but Dayton scored nine of the game's final 10 points, including five from the free-throw line.


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