Flyers shut down Billikens in overtime, stay perfect in A10 play with 59-52 win

Tenin Magassa (#34, picture from Jan. 15 versus Davidson) was a force on the defense end against Saint Louis, blocking eight shots in the Flyers’ 59-52 overtime win. Photo courtesy of Keegan Gupta, Flyer News.

Peter Burtnett
Sports Editor

An exciting game between the Flyers and Billikens simmered in overtime, as Dayton shut down Saint Louis in overtime to grab a 59-52 win on the road Tuesday night. 

The first half was a tale of two quarters, with the Flyers closing the first strong, and the Billikens controlling the game in the second.

To start the game, both teams shot a combined 2/15 on field goals over the first five minutes, before the Flyers strung together 3 out of 4 made field goals to take a 10-4 lead into the second quarter, while the Billikens had 7 turnovers and shot just 1/10 from the field.

In the early stages of the second, the Flyers continued to knock down shots, building up to a 15-1 run going back to the first basket of the game (a made three-pointer by Saint Louis).

However, the Billikens responded with their own dominance, going on an 11-0 run to tie the game at 15. The teams exchanged blows to close out the first half, with the score tied at 23 going into the break.

Redshirt senior guard Jenna Giacone led the way with 7 points and 3 rebounds, while freshman center Tenin Magassa added 6 points, 5 blocks and 4 rebounds. 

Both teams shot under 33 percent from the field in the first half, and had 18 combined turnovers.

Neither team was able to gain a distinct advantage in the third quarter, with the Billikens holding the largest lead (3 points), but the score was tied at 40 points apiece heading into the final quarter.

The back-and-forth continued to start the fourth, with the Billikens taking a 43-42 lead before the Flyers responded to take back the lead, eventually leading 48-45 before a Saint Louis three tied the game at 48, where it stood with 1:35 remaining.

Giacone drove to the basket and knocked down a layup with 1:21 left to give the Flyers a 2-point lead. The Billikens had possession with 21.3 seconds left, and after calling a timeout, the in-bounds play led to a foul, sending junior guard Myia Clark to the line, where she made two free throws.

The Flyers called timeout with 6.3 seconds left, but Giacone couldn’t get the open jumper to go after her defender fell, and the game was sent to overtime. 

A Magassa layup got the scoring started in overtime, and a Giacone jumper stretched the lead to four with two minutes left. That would be all the Flyers needed, as their defense shut down the Billikens in overtime to come away with a 59-52 win.

The win pushes the Flyers to 8-1 on the season, still a perfect 7-0 in A10 play.

Giacone finished the game with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, while Magassa nearly had a triple-double with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 8 blocks. Redshirt senior guard Erin Whalen also added 13 points and 7 rebounds.

The Flyers travel to Philadelphia next to face St. Joseph’s on the road Friday at 6 p.m.