In their second-consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament under coach Shauna Green, Dayton’s women’s basketball team got rocketed out of the KFC Yum! Center 84-65 by Marquette, Friday afternoon in Louisville.
The eight-seed Marquette Golden Eagles shot lights out from long range to easily down the nine-seed Flyers in the first round of the women’s bracket. Dayton ends their season 23-7.
The Flyers jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the opening minutes, but after a timeout, Dayton’s offense collapsed under Marquette’s pressure. The Golden Eagles forced 10 Flyer turnovers and closed the first quarter on a 19-4 run.
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Dayton shot remarkably well … when it had the ball. Despite a seven-point deficit after the first 10 minutes, Dayton was out-shooting Marquette 70 to 33 percent. But five of Marquette’s seven field goals were three-pointers.
That trend continued as Marquette finished the day 12-of-26 from behind the arc.
Foul trouble plagued the Flyers, who are without a deep bench. Senior guard Jenna Burdette and sophomore forward Jordan Wilmoth each accrued two fouls early, and Green was forced to reconfigure her rotations.
Marquette led by as many as 15 points in the closing minutes of the second quarter and went into the locker room with a 45-31 advantage.
The Flyers committed 16 turnovers to Marquette’s four in the first half, which limited them to 23 shots compared to the Golden Eagles’ 40. Even at halftime, the Flyers were out-shooting Marquette 44 to 38 percent, but were missing the quantity to complement their quality.
Dayton improved their ball handling in the second half, turning it over just three times in the final 20 minutes, but Marquette held tough on the offensive end and countered every Dayton run.
“They made plays,” Green credited Marquette. “And every time we made a run they came back and they made a stop and made a play.”
“We ran every defense that we possibly could run today. We have a zone, we zoned. We have a press, we pressed. That’s why they’re so dangerous.”
By the middle of the fourth quarter, the life was completely sucked out of the Flyers. Marquette finished the day with four scorers in double figures and led by as many as 23 in the fourth quarter.
Marquette’s junior guard Natisha Hiedeman ended up with 32 points to lead all scorers. The Golden Eagles advance to face one-seed Louisville on Sunday in the Cardinals’ home arena.
Senior, and Louisville native, JaVonna Layfield finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds. And Burdette scored 19 in her final game as a Flyer.
It’s the end of the road for Layfield, Burdette and fellow-senior Alex Harris. Burdette and Layfield made the NCAA Tournament three times in their four years, winning three games and advancing to the Elite Eight their freshman season.
“I wanted this game so much for them to go out and get another win here. We just didn’t have it,” Green said.
“But they need to be proud and they need to walk out of here with their head high.”
Photos Taken by Christian Cubacub/Director of Digital Media