Women’s Basketball Preview: Flyers And Dukes To Battle For Tops In the A-10

Katie Carroll
Contributing Writer

Dayton women’s basketball will host Duquesne at UD Arena Wednesday at 7 p.m. Both teams enter the game undefeated in the Atlantic-10 Conference.

Dayton enters the game with a 16-4 record and on a 10-game win streak. The Flyers have managed to score 75.3 points per game, the highest offensive output in the league, while holding opposing teams to 61.2 points per game. UD is also shooting 43.4 percent from the field and 38.4 percent from three.
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Senior guard Jenna Burdette remains Dayton’s leading scorer, at 16.1 points per game. But sophomore guard Jayla Scaife, senior guards Lauren Cannatelli and JaVonna Layfield are all averaging double-digit points as well.

A win for the Flyers would extend their streak to 11 games, tying last year’s top run. The last time the Flyers won more than 11 games in a row was in 2013 when they took it to 15.

Duquesne enters the game at 18-3 overall, and stacks up competitively against the Flyers. The team shoots 42.9 percent from the field, and 38.2 percent from three. Their 58 RPI is just seven points below Dayton’s, and the Dukes have won eight straight games. Duquesne’s last loss, in fact, was to No. 1 overall UConn on Dec. 22.

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Duquesne’s leading scorers are junior guard Chassidy Omogrosso, who averages 16.8 points per game, and fellow junior guard Julijana Vojinovic, who is averaging 16.1.

Last season, the Flyers and Dukes met three times, including one matchup in the conference tournament, with Dayton victorious thrice.

Red Scare, UD’s student section, is pulling out all the stops for Wednesday’s game. All students will receive a free Popsocket for their phone, free pizza and will be invited to shoot around on the court after the game. Additionally, students will be entered into raffles for a 32-inch flat screen TV and three second-row seats to an upcoming Flyer men’s basketball game.

While the Flyer women’s team averages the highest attendance in the A-10, there’s always plenty of room in the student section. And, with high stakes in this game, it’s no wonder the Red Scare is looking to garner maximum support.

Wednesday’s winner will be the front-runner to earn the top seed in the A-10 Tournament, which will be held in Richmond, Va. in early March. The winner of the conference tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Last year, the Flyers won the bid, which turned out to be the A-10’s only entry into March Madness.
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“With the A-10, are we going to continue to be a multiple-bid league?” Shauna Green rhetorically asked in an interview this week. “We only got one last year. So, I don’t know what we will get this year, but it’s going to be harder and harder to get to the NCAA Tournament.”

The matchup with Duquesne, on the forefront of the team’s mind, is thus far the peak of Dayton’s competition this year. And after making seven of the last eight NCAA Tournaments, Wednesday is just the newest challenge in the Flyers’ journey to cement their national relevance.

“So that’s our goal now,” Green said. “How consistent can we be and how far can we take it?”

Photos by Griffin Quinn/Staff Photographer