Dayton women’s basketball team fights hard in the beginning of the new season

Photo by Keegan Gupta, director of digital media and photography.

Max Cross | Sports Editor

Nearly seven months after being announced as the new Dayton Flyers women’s basketball head coach, Tamika Williams-Jeter had her debut when Dayton traveled to Providence for their first game of the season on Nov. 7. 

The Flyers were able to keep it close for most of the game, but could not develop a late rally and lost to Friars 69-60 in the first game for head coach Williams-Jeter. 

Destiny Bohanon, a redshirt junior guard who graduated from Wayne High School, led Dayton in scoring with a career high 22 points on 8 of 20 shooting. She also went 4 of 6 on three-pointers in 39 minutes. She surpassed her previous career high of eight points.  

Bohanon scored a combined 71 points the last two seasons after redshirting as a freshman in the 2019-20 season. 

Freshman Nayo Lear came off the bench and saw action for 30 minutes. She finished the game with 20 points on 8 of 9 shooting from the field. 

Sophomore forward Shannon Wheeler scored 10 points. Wheeler was one of four players to return to the program after previous head coach Shauna Green left to take the head coaching position at Illinois back in March. 

Maliya Perry had a team high of nine rebounds along with four points. 

The Flyers trailed 18-11 at the end of the first quarter and kept it within single digits throughout the first half, trailing 29-21 at halftime. Providence then was able to keep Dayton at bay throughout the third quarter, not allowing the lead to shrink more than eight points. 

Dayton then began to slowly chip away as a three-pointer by Bohanon with 6:30 remaining brought the score within reach. The Flyers were trailing 53-48 and then 60-55 on another Bohanon 3 with 3:27 to play. However, that was as close as the Flyers got. 

Providence found success at the free throw line, outsourcing Dayton from the charity stripe 18-9. 

Janai Crooms led Providence with scoring 20 points. 

On Nov. 10, the Flyers had their home opener against the Illinois State Redbirds. It was also the first regular season game for new head coach Williams-Jeter. Despite the intense physicality the team showed, the Flyers ultimately came up short in a 74-70 overtime loss to the Redbirds in their first game at UD Arena. 

Destiny Bohanon led Dayton with 16 points on 7 of 14 shooting from the floor and 2 of 3 from three point range. 

Maliya Perry led Dayton with 12 rebounds to go along with 13 points. 

The game started poorly for both teams, with Dayton having four early turnovers in the first two minutes of the game. Both teams started cold from the field, with the Flyers going nearly three minutes before their first basket of the game. The Redbirds were able to get on the board with a three-pointer by Paige Robinson at the 6:24 mark of the first. 

Both teams continued to battle throughout the first half, with neither team going up by more than six points. 

The turnovers continued to haunt Dayton as they turned the ball over 14 times in the first half alone. Illinois State was able to take advantage of this and scored 11 points in the first half. 

The Flyers, who led 30-28 at halftime, looked to turn things around. They ignited a 13-3 run to open the third quarter and looked like they took control of the game. However, turnovers continued to leave the door open for the Redbirds. Dayton turned the ball over five times in the span of 2:33 that led to a 6-0 Redbird run that cut Dayton’s lead to 47-45.

Both teams went back and forth during the fourth quarter, but it was Destiny Bohanon who found the magic to keep Dayton alive and be a hero on their home court. Down 63-60 with 10 seconds left, Bohanon nailed a 3 from the wing to tie the game and force overtime. 

In overtime, Illinois State went 8 for 10 from the free throw line. The only points the Redbirds had that weren’t free throws came from Maya Wong. She knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key to extend the lead for Illinois State by four with 28 seconds remaining. The Flyers got as close as two points with three seconds to go but could not mount a comeback. 

Mary Crompton led the Redbirds in scoring with a career high 27 points on 70% shooting from three point range. 

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