By: Steve Miller
The UD women’s basketball team was resilient when they returned home for two games this week. Coming off their second loss to George Washington University this season, Dayton proved to be untainted as they convincingly defeated a pair of Atlantic 10 Conference foes, the University of Richmond and St. Joseph’s University.
Dayton defeated Richmond 79-41 Wednesday at UD Arena. Senior guard Andrea Hoover led the team with 13 points, and four Flyers scored in double digits.
On Sunday, Dayton played host to St. Joseph’s University in a pink-out game for breast cancer awareness. Hoover again led the Flyers to victory and etched her name in the UD record books with a 3-pointer in the first half. She is now Dayton’s all-time leader in 3-point baskets, passing Stephanie Miller.
Senior forward Ally Malott recorded 15 points and seven rebounds, joining Hoover as the leading scorers.
First-year guard Jenna Burdette finished with a career-high 14 points, and helped the Flyers get out to a hot start in the first half by recording five of the team’s first nine points.
Dayton never trailed and defeated the Hawks 82-64. The Flyers are now 10-2 in the Atlantic 10 and 17-1 this season when scoring 70 or more points.
The consistently high point total can be attributed to the fast pace of play instituted by head coach Jim Jabir. By pushing up the court and spreading the ball, the Flyers end up with a lot of open shots. Against St. Joseph’s, 10 different players scored.
“I liked the way we ran our offense. I think we shot close to 70 percent in the first half,” Jabir said. “It’s the way we play, we share the ball and everybody’s moving.”
“Our goal as a team is to always push it up and down the court, and I think we’re doing a really great job of that,” Hoover said, “But it all starts defensively, when we can get the rebounds and start running.”
Offensively, Hoover’s stellar performances consistently lead the team to that 70-point threshold. However, despite the attention she received for setting the 3-point basket record, she is largely unconcerned with her personal statistics.
“It’s a team reward,” Hoover said when asked about the record, “there have been a lot of great players who have come to the University of Dayton, just to be in the domain of those players is a great honor.”
“She’s a terrific kid,” Jabir said of Hoover. “She just plays for the love of the game, and we’re really fortunate to have her.”
A leader both on and off the court for this team, Hoover set the tone for this week’s games despite the sour taste of the George Washington loss.
“As a team, we all knew that was a defining moment for us, we knew we had to step it up,” Hoover said. “To lose two times to the same team, kudos to [George Washington] because that’s a really tough task to do, and we know that we’re going to see them again in the A-10 tournament, so we’re ready, and we’re really just trying to get better as a group and individually.”
Until the Flyers do meet up with George Washington again, Hoover is trying to cherish the remainder of her UD career with only four regular season games to be played.
“The four years have not felt as long as they have been,” Hoover said.
Second only to George Washington in the conference, Dayton will continue to play with the resiliency they displayed this week, leading up to the A-10 tournament, which begins March 4.