It may have been a loss, but University of Dayton women’s basketball coach Shauna Green saw something during a overtime loss to 19th-ranked South Florida on Dec. 9.
The Flyers were starting to find their groove.
“We are continuing to progress,” Green said after the Flyers moved to 12-4 overall and 5-0 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. “We learn a lot every game and we have been playing really hard and together.”
Consider the numbers from Dayton’s A-10 101-76 win over St. Louis Sunday afternoon at UD Arena and you can see she was right when she saw the wave coming.
* The 101 points was the second time in four games they have hit the century mark.
* Dayton out-rebounded St. Louis 63-36.
* The Flyers had a 22-5 edge in offensive rebounds which lead to a 31-2 difference in second chance points.
* Dayton turned the ball over just eight times.
* Six Flyers finished in double figures.
“We are just really clicking,” guard Jenna Burdette said after scoring a career high 33 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists. “Our defense leads to our offense and right now we are doing a really good job of sharing the ball.”
The Flyers started out a little rough, trailing 9-5 with 5:46 left in the first quarter, but closed with a 20-11 run to take a 25-20 lead after the first quarter for a lead they would relinquish for a handful of seconds in the second quarter.
After St. Louis took a 30-29 lead with 7:40 remaining in the half, Burdette and Lauren Cannatelli took over.
The duo scored 13 of the final 15 points of the half for the Flyers and combined to equal the Billikens halftime out-put as the Flyers took a 50-34 lead.
“I knew we were both feeling it,” Burdette said with a smile. “St. Louis is one of our rivals and in the back of our mind we know how good they are.
“We knew we had to focus and keep playing the game.”
St. Louis never got closer than 11 in the second half.
The Billikens (8-9, 2-2) closed the gap to 60-49 with 4:54 remaining in the third quarter forcing coach Shauna Green to call a timeout, but the Flyers ran off 19 of the final 29 points in the quarter.
With time running down, Javonna Layfield drove the lane and beat the clock with a scooping shot with one second left for a 79-59 lead.
“We were yelling at her to drive,” Green said. “The culture of this team is taking shape. The chemistry is completely different from last year.
“We have a different line up. We’ve had injuries and it has taken us awhile to get in a groove.”
The Dayton bench erupted in cheers when the Flyers went over the 100 point mark with less than a minute to go on a pair of free throws by Jayla Scaife.
In addition to Burdette’s career high, Cannatelli finished with 19, Layfield 15, Alex Harris had 12 points to go with 14 rebounds and Jayla Scaife and Jordan Wilmouth each had 11 points.
“That’s the hard part about our team is that you can’t pin-point one person,” Green said. “I like this team because they find different ways to win each time out.”
Dayton returns to action Wednesday at Fordham in a showdown between A-10 co-leaders before hosting George Washington on Jan. 21.