After slow start, Flyers pull away to 59-37 win over George Mason

Redshirt senior guard Araion Bradshaw once again made a big difference for the Flyers, who are now 3-0 in A10 play to start the season. Photo courtesy of Keegan Gupta, Flyer News.

Peter Burtnett
Sports Editor

The University of Dayton women’s basketball team pulled away after leading by two after the first quarter, beating George Mason 59-37 on the road Friday night and staying perfect in Atlantic 10 play. 

The Flyers shot efficiently out of the gate (4-6 on field goals), but the Patriots took a 9-8 lead into the first quarter media timeout with 4:31 left in the quarter. With a jumper and lay-up, redshirt senior guard Jenna Giacone led the Flyers with 4 points early.

Neither team was able to do much offensively to finish the quarter, but a three from redshirt senior guard Erin Whalen gave the Flyers a 13-11 lead, which they held after the first.

Giacone continued to fuel the Flyers to start the second quarter, scoring the next 7 UD points on a sequence of an offensive rebound and lay-up follow, three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt, and a spinning floater. The burst led the way to expand the Flyers’ lead to 24-16, forcing George Mason to call timeout with 4:20 left in the second quarter. 

Much like the end of the first, neither team could find the basket in the final four minutes of the quarter, with the Flyers adding a lay-up by redshirt freshman Nadjy Tyler, and Patriots cutting into the 10-point Flyers lead with a three from forward Daijah Jefferson. 

Leading 26-19 at halftime, the Flyers went into the break shooting 40 percent (10-25) from the field, but just 11.1 percent (1-9) from three. Even with fewer offensive rebounds (8-6) and more turnovers (9-6), the Flyers were more efficient with their shots, leading field goal percentage by 16 percent (40 to 24.1).

For the first three minutes of the third quarter, the only scoring came on a 3-pointer from Patriots’ senior guard Marika Korpenin and a free throw from Whalen. However, the scoring accelerated with a pair of lay-ups from Flyer true freshman Tenin Magassa, which was answered by a 3-pointer by Jefferson to cut the Flyers’ lead to 31-25 with 4:56 left in the quarter.

With neither team getting a firm hold on the game, a quick burst by the Flyers put them into the clear heading into the fourth quarter. 

First, redshirt sophomore guard Maliya Perry knocked down a wing three, then freshman guard Makira Cook read a Patriots pass perfectly, intercepted the ball and went coast-to-coast for a lay-up and the foul, knocking down the free throw to give the Flyers a 39-27 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.

The quick burst by the Flyers to close the third became a sustained run, extended to 13-0 by a Cook jumper, lay-up from sophomore forward Mariah Perez, and 3-pointer by Whalen. The Patriots cut into the lead slightly, but the Flyers still led by a sizable margin, 48-32 at the final media timeout with 4:59 remaining. 

After the media timeout, Bradshaw knocked down a floater as she was fouled (made free throw), and Perry followed that with a pair of lay-ups to extend the Flyers lead to 55-32 with 3:31 remaining, forcing a Patriots timeout.

The Flyers cruised the rest of the way to a 59-37 win, pushing their record to 4-1 and 3-0 in Atlantic 10 play. Led by Giacone (13 points, 8 rebounds), Bradshaw (9 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists), and Perry (9 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists), the Flyers also got 7 points each from Cook and Whalen, and finished with ten different players on the scoresheet. 

The game finished with the Flyers dominating field goal percentage, 43.6 to 21.2 percent, while running away with more rebounds (47-27) and bench points (26-4). Points in the paint (34-8), second chance points (13-5) and points off turnovers (16-4) were also major keys in leading the Flyers to a 22-point win.

The Flyers stay in the area for their next game, facing 3-5 George Washington next on Sunday at noon.

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