Cover photo from a UD women’s basketball game earlier this season. Courtesy of Flyer News
UD women’s basketball had a chance to prove themselves against elite competition, when sixth-ranked South Carolina came to town on Nov. 13. Unfortunately, the Flyers couldn’t recover from a bad start, falling to the Gamecocks 75-49.
“We did what we were supposed to do, we just couldn’t hit shots,” head coach Shuana Green said. “When we don’t hit shots it takes away some of our confidence.”
South Carolina is highly ranked for a reason, their defense was smothering the Flyers early. Dayton only managed six points in the first quarter, digging a hole they would never get out of.
One bright spot for the Flyers in the first half was redshirt senior guard Shakeela Fowler, who finished the game with 11 points and two steals. Fowler also forced three South Carolina turnovers drawing offensive fouls.
“I was really just trying to set an example for everyone on my team to never give up,” Fowler said. “We’re Dayton, we’re known for being tough.”
When the first half came to a close, Dayton was trailing 41-21. South Carolina was stifling everything the Flyers tried to do on the offensive end.
Dayton showed more resistance in the second half, only being outscored by six. A large part of that was due to senior Jenna Giacone finding the hot hand.
“At the end of the game, no matter what the score was, I just had to bring some energy,” Giacone said. “I hit the first shot and it just rolled from there.”
Giacone finished the night with a career-high 18 points, hitting four of her five three-point attempts.
“We need that production off the bench,” Green said. “That’s a positive that hopefully she can take to keep rolling into Saturday.”
Outside of Fowler and Giacone, the Flyers really struggled to make anything happen on the offensive end. Senior Jayla Scaife, who was named to the preseason all-A10 team, was only 2-18 from the floor.
“The shots she was taking are shots she makes a lot of time, and they just weren’t going in,” Green said.
Scaife wasn’t alone. A combination of poor shooting and good defense from the Gamecocks caused the Flyers to finish the game having made only 16 of their 72 field goal attempts (22.2 percent).
The rest of Dayton’s season so far has gone swimmingly, with three comfortable wins against Lipscomb, Toledo and Northeastern.