By: Kyle Janowicz – Staff Writer
An exciting and tense afternoon for the University of Dayton women’s basketball team against Fordham University helped the team extend its winning streak.
Dayton took down the Rams 73-64 Sunday, Jan. 19, at UD Arena for its ninth win in a row.
What looked to be a hot start for the Flyers became an adverse struggle early in the game.
Sophomore guard Amber Deane started the game scoring six straight points for the Flyers. As Dayton started to get comfortable, the Rams fought back from behind the arc, shooting 88 percent from 3-point range in the first half.
Fordham bounced back with key shooting performances by senior guard Abigail Corning and freshman guard Hannah Missry.
“They made us play their game, which is a credit to them,” head coach Jim Jabir said. “They controlled the tempo and the shot clock.”
Although Fordham continued its hot shooting, Dayton went into the half trailing by only a point at 39-38, thanks to strong inside play from senior center Cassie Sant and sophomore center Jodie Cornelie-Sigmundova, who had 10 and 12 points at the half, respectively.
Jabir said that he emphasized the same things going into the half that he did before the game, including staying on Fordham’s shooters and preventing the Rams from dictating the tempo of the game.
The Flyers came out in the second half playing defense more aggressively and looked to force more turnovers as the team’s three main guards, junior Andrea Hoover, and sophomores Kelley Austria and Amber Deane, all came up with steals.
Deane said she felt the Flyers played the second half with a more assertive mindset on defense, crediting her teammates with inspiring each other to play tougher defense.
Even as Dayton marched back, the Rams continued to respond for most of the second half.
A 3-point play off a layup and free throw by Deane gave the Flyers a 55-54 lead with 4:24 left to go in the game and gave Dayton the moment it needed to establish a quicker pace of play.
Junior forward Ally Malott played a huge role in the final minutes of the game scoring 12 points in four and a half minutes, including back-to-back 3-pointers, the latter giving Dayton a 5-point lead with a little more than two minutes remaining. Fordham would get no closer down the stretch.
“Coach Jabir, since my freshman year, has been telling me whenever I have the ball, if you’re open shoot it,” Malott said.
Malott went on to credit the Fordham defense for holding back Dayton’s scoring and shooting.
The Flyers are the sixth-highest scoring team in the nation at 87.1 points per game, but were held to their second lowest scoring total of the season.
Jabir said that while Dayton did not necessarily earn style points with its win on Sunday, it was a relief that they were able to beat Fordham playing the way they did in the first half.
Dayton looked to stay undefeated in the A-10 when it faced off against the University of Massachusetts Wednesday, Jan. 22, in Amherst, Mass.