By: Brendan Zdunek – Staff Writer
Coming into Saturday, Jan. 28, the Dayton women’s basketball team was 7-1 in Atlantic 10 play and on a seven-game winning streak. With a trouncing of the Rhode Island Rams, 81-51, the Flyers made that eight in a row.
The game started with the Flyers having a hot hand on offense. Shooting 42 percent from the field in the first quarter, they were hitting shots and, if they did not, they got offensive rebounds to generate more opportunities.
By doing that, the Flyers scored 24 points in the first quarter alone and, with excellent defense, they limited the Rams to only six points in the opening 10 minutes.
“We wanted to come out and really set the tone and throw the first punch like right away,” said head coach Shauna Green in a postgame interview. Helping lead that huge charge was senior guard Kelly Austria, who eventually contributed 16 points in total.
“I think I came out more aggressive than I usually do, taking a lot of open shots, and I think our defense helped that type of offense,” said Austria.
Her coach spoke highly of her as well. “I think Kelly has just been playing at a whole other level and playing like a fifth-year senior should play. She is doing everything we need her to do on both ends of the floor in order for us to win basketball games,” said Green.
With that jolting start in the first quarter, the same kind of effective scoring and defense continued into the second quarter. The Flyers were shooting 46 percent from the field by the half, hitting on all cylinders, and increasing their lead to as many as 38 points–the greatest lead the Flyers have had all season long.
Despite being outscored in the second half, the overall outcome did not change. The Flyers ended up steamrolling to a 30-point win, 81-51, keeping them in first place of the A-10.
The Flyers’ next game is at Davidson (3-17 overall, 1-7 conference) on Wednesday.
Green stressed the importance of not letting up as the regular season winds down. “If we can be consistent and disciplined in that mindset [of one game at a time] and that approach,we believe the results will take care of themselves.”
Photo by David King – Staff Photographer