Senior guard Jayla Scaife recorded her second straight 20-point game in Sunday’s win over Fordham. Photo from a previous game courtesy of Atticus Hughes.
Dayton women’s basketball held off a second half comeback from Fordham Sunday afternoon to win their ninth straight game 48-44.
Dayton’s defense was smothering Fordham from tip-off, as the Rams finished the first quarter with only three points. The Flyers were also struggling to put the ball in the basket, but senior guard Jayla Scaife and redshirt senior guard Shakeela Fowler provided the scoring punch Dayton needed to end the period up 12-3.
The pace of the game went up to start the second quarter, with the score jumping to 19-10. The scoring burst didn’t last for long, and the only points scored in the last four minutes of the quarter by either team was a three from sophomore forward Kyla Whitehead.
The Flyers entered the half leading 22-10, with Scaife matching the scoring total of the whole Fordham team.
“I was just trying to attack the rim,” Scaife said. “I knew if I attacked the rim they would either have to foul me or I could score.”
The big key was stopping Fordham’s star, redshirt junior guard Bre Cavanaugh. Cavanaugh was averaging 18.7 points-per-game coming into the game, but was held to only two in the first half.
“We knew that second half that she was going to come out and try to take over the game,” head coach Shauna Green said.
Green was right, as Cavanaugh started to find her groove in the second half. Cavanaugh scored 19 points in the second half, helping lead Fordham back in the game.
“I tell our team, you’re not going to stop (Cavanaugh), you just have to try to contain her,” Green said. “Not many players in the country can come out and get a shot off any time they want, she’s an elite player.”
Green called a timeout in the fourth quarter after an 8-0 run from Fordham, and gave Scaife the assignment of guarding Cavanaugh.
“Coach tells us that if a player’s going off someone needs to step up, so I think everyone was willing to guard her,” Scaife said. “I’m glad I was the one that was able to affect her a little bit.”
Scaife got two stops in a row to help stem the bleeding and the Flyers maintained a lead late in the game.
Fordham wasn’t done yet. The Rams mustered up one last attack in them in the last three minutes of the game.
This time it was freshman guard Anna DeWolfe leading the run. DeWolfe had 10 of her 15 points late in the fourth quarter, and the Rams tied the game at 40 with one minute left to play.
Scaife answered with two points in the paint to give the Flyers a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
After an inconsistent season plagued with injury, Scaife had the game-high 21 points, her second 20-point game in a row.
“You can see her getting that flow, that rhythm back,” head coach Shauna Green said. “A couple of times she wanted the ball so I called plays for her, and she was big time.”
Dayton moves to 14-7 on the season and 7-0 in the A10. The Flyers will look to extend their unbeaten streak to 10 next Sunday when they travel to Philadelphia to take on St. Joseph’s.