Star guard Jayla Scaife’s (cover photo) improved play has been a key factor in the Flyer’s winning streak. Photo taken by Atticus Hughes
Sports Staff Writer
On Dec. 21, Dayton Women’s Basketball demolished East Carolina 94-68 at the West Palm Beach Tournament. They have not lost a game since.
The team is in the midst of a nine game winning streak dating back to that game, capped off with a 48-44 win against Fordham on Jan. 26 at UD Arena.
“This team right now is playing with a lot of confidence and they’re finding ways to win,” said head coach Shauna Green. “Once you pull off some tight games, you have that confidence and you’re playing to win; not to lose.”
One of the biggest reasons for the Flyer’s success recently has been senior guard Jayla Scaife.
Even though she battled injuries during the early part of the streak, she has regained her form, leading the team in scoring in three of the last four games.
“I feel like I’m still trying to figure it out,” Scaife said, “But I’m starting to feel better and get used to playing with the team again and getting back in the flow.”
Scaife had 21 points in Dayton’s win against Fordham to go along with 10 rebounds. Green praised Scaife’s recent performances and talked about how important it was for Scaife to find her rhythm again.
“She’s a rhythm player,” Green said. “She needs practice and I think you can see now the past couple of games now that she’s been able to sustain multiple practices and you can see her getting that flow, rhythm and confidence back.”
While Scaife finding her own rhythm has been a big part of the Flyer’s success, the team as a whole is finding its rhythm as unit.
One key to the Flyers’ success is making key plays in late game situations, which has been a big part of the Flyers pulling off close wins. Three of the nine wins have been by four points or less, including a one-point win against Saint Louis that was decided by an Erin Whalen free throw with just 1.6 seconds remaining.
“Every game they’re getting more and more confident and they’re trusting each other, and they’re trusting themselves when a play needs to be made,” Green said. “We’re able to make those plays at key times.”
Thanks to the win against Fordham, Dayton sits atop the Atlantic 10 Conference standings at 7-0 in conference play with a 14-7 overall record. They travel to Saint Joseph’s next Sunday to try and extend their winning streak to ten games.