The University of Dayton women’s basketball team opened the season with a 93-59 win over Mississippi Valley State University on Friday, Nov. 9, on its way to winning the Maggie Dixon Classic in Chicago, Ill.
Dayton’s balanced attack was guided by two sophomores, forward Ally Malott and guard Andrea Hoover. Malott finished with a career-high 19 points, while Hoover earned her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
“They handled the pressure well,” head coach Jim Jabir said. “As a team, we’re inexperienced and still learning, but we have good leaders.”
Though they forced 18 MVSU turnovers, the Flyers gave up 30 of their own. It is something that needs to be addressed, Jabir said. He added that, overall, he was impressed by how well his younger players conducted themselves.
“I’d give us a ‘B’ … maybe a ‘B-’ on the night,” he said.
Dayton shot 57 percent from the field on 25 assists, compared to only eight for MVSU on only 32 percent shooting.
According to Hoover, Friday’s win came as a result of fixing all the things that went wrong in the Nov. 2 home exhibition loss to Ashland University.
“We learned a lot of things from playing Ashland,” said Hoover, who was named first team All-Atlantic 10 in preseason. “They exposed a lot of our weaknesses, so we’ve really worked hard in the past week to clean some stuff up.”
Freshmen players also played a big role, namely center Jodie Cornelie and guard Amber Deane who scored 11 and 14, respectively, for the Flyers.
“I was proud of us just working hard every possession,” Hoover said.
The Flyers came out swinging, climbing to a 29-9 lead with 11 minutes left in the first half. They took a 42-26 lead into the break and never looked back. After the intermission, the smallest lead for UD was 14 points.
“We had a little bit of a set back against Ashland,” Malott said. “Nobody was really happy at all about what we did in that game.”
“I think everyone, between freshman and sophomore year gains a lot more confidence,” Malott said. “I think my teammates did a really good job of seeing who was open and getting to the hole.”
On Saturday, Nov. 10, Dayton defeated the AP’s No. 25-ranked team and tournament host DePaul University 92-80 to win the Classic.
Deane led four UD players in double digit scoring with 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field. Malott recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Dayton as a team shot at least 50 percent from the field in both halves.
Malott and Hoover were named to the Classic’s All-Tournament Team for their two game performances.
Dayton plays the University of Toledo to open up its home season, Wednesday, Nov. 14 at UD Arena in what will be a Military Appreciation Game.
“I haven’t had much time to look at them,” Jabir said. “But I know they have a couple of great players, and they’re always tough. It’ll be a good opener.”