By: Steve Miller – Sports Editor
Persevering through slow offensive stretches, Dayton’s women’s basketball team stymied the Virginia Cavaliers’ shooters on Sunday afternoon in front of a passionate crowd at UD Arena, and won 61-46.
UD shot just 37 percent from the floor and 20 percent from three, but their 53 rebounds (with 15 on offense) propelled Dayton to victory.
“That just a true testament to what we perach every single day and what we talk about our culture is and our identity is here with this program,” coach Shauna Green said after the game.
“It’s number one defend, rebound and then we run. I’m just really really proud of our defensive effort, and obviously our rebounding. To have three people in double figures in rebounding, that’s all effort.”
A slow first quarter featured both offenses shooting below the 30 percent mark as the Flyers’ up-tempo offense came out slightly disconnected. In fact, UD and UVA combined for almost as many turnovers (15) as they did points (18) in the opening 10 minutes.
Dayton emerged guns a-blazing in the second quarter and attacked the rim quickly on their first few drives. Sophomore guard Jayla Scaife knocked down 11 points in 10 minutes to lead the Flyers to a significant lead: 29-21 at half. Scaife ended up leading the Flyers with 17 points.
The Flyers’ offense fell cold again out of halftime–bitterly cold. UD failed to score for more than seven minutes in the third quarter. Luckily, their defense stayed strong by limiting Virginia to just three points in the same stretch.
“We ran I think every play in our playbook trying to find something. We got good looks, we just could not hit anything,” Green said. “We were getting stops, though. So our defense was consistent so I just knew eventually we were gonna hit a shot.”
Eventually they did.
Junior guard Lauren Cannatelli drained a three from the corner to end the drought and ignite a run for Dayton. Redshirt senior forward Alex Harris came up with a block on the other end and junior forward Maddy Dennis drained another trey on the ensuing UD possession.
“I think it’s always the same,” Cannatelli said about the team’s consistent approach. “Just to stay confident and to keep shooting.”
UD’s defense held strong again in the fourth as they wrapped up the 15-point victory. It was a momentous win for the Flyers, who fell to UVA last season 66-56 in Charlottesville, Virginia, and aided by the fans who came out the arena.
“It was a great crowd, they were loud, they were into it,” Green said. “And that’s what your home court advantage is about. Especially against a really good team, they helped us pull through.”
Photos Courtesy of Griffin Quinn