UD women earn share of A-10 title, top seed in tourney

It seemed only fitting on Senior Night at UD Arena that the Flyers played an encore.

The Flyers earned a share of the regular-season Atlantic 10 championship — and top seed in the conference tournament — with a 68-62 overtime win Wednesday over Saint Louis.

It was a heavyweight battle between two of the three teams tied for the A-10 lead entering the final night of the regular season.

“We wanted to give the fans a good treat,” Flyers coach Shauna Green said with a laugh after her squad improved to 13-3 in the A-10 and 19-9 overall. “That was just a great game for women’s basketball and a great game for our conference.”

PHOTOS: Twenty five shots from Dayton vs. SLU

UD shares the regular-season title with George Washington but captures the No. 1 seed for the tournament because the Flyers beat Saint Louis twice and GW lost to Saint Louis, the highest common opponent. GW (13-3 A-10) will be the No. 2 seed while Saint Louis finishes 22-7, 12-4.

Wednesday’s was a game that featured many peaks and valleys for the 2,905 in attendance.

The Flyers took a 56-51 lead with 4:14 remaining in regulation on a pair of free throws by freshman Jordan Wilmoth, but they would be the last in regulation for the hosts.

Saint Louis forced overtime when Sadie Stepanovich banked in a 3-pointer with 13 ticks remaining.

Overtime, however, belonged to the Flyer seniors.

Saicha Grant-Allen gave UD the lead for good, 58-56, less than a minute into the extra frame with a short jumper. Kelley Austria pushed the lead to 61-56 less than a minute later and Christy Macioce sealed the deal with a blocked shot as time expired.

“We had a few overtime games here last year and there are not good memories from them,” Grant-Allen said after finishing with 12 points and 17 rebounds. “But this was my last game here and that was not going to happen.”

Macioce got the blocked shot in her lone minute of action.

“You can’t write a script any better for the seniors,” Green said. “I am just so happy for them.”

The fact that the Flyers, after a 3-6 start, were cutting down nets was something that crept into Grant-Allen’s head as she climbed the ladder.

“To think we had a chance to play at home for the A-10 title is ridiculous,” Grant-Allen said. “It was always in the back of my head, but the start was not as promising. I’ve been waiting for a long time to do this.”

So long that the Flyers came out of the gate too strong against St. Louis.

Dayton turned the ball over on its first three possessions as the Billikens scored first.

Lauren Cannatelli (12 points) put the Flyers ahead 3-2 in an opening half that saw the lead change 15 times before the Flyers grabbed a 34-32 lead at halftime.

“I thought we were excited and anxious to start the game,” Austria said. “We just needed to settle down and get in the flow of the game.”

Dayton led 47-37 on a reverse lay-in by JaVonna Layfield with 5:25 remaining in the third, but the Flyers went 4-for-25 from the floor in the second half, including 0-for-11 in the fourth quarter.

“We just kept attacking,” Green said. “I think the 3 from Kelley in overtime opened things back up for us a little bit.”

The Flyers will open their bid to claim the tournament title in the A-10 quarterfinals March 3.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

Skijoring: The wildest winter sport not in the Olympics

A team consists of a competitor in a saddle, another on two skis and also a horse on four hooves. The playing field is a blanket of snow and includes a variety of jumps and obstacles. The goal is to go fast and, if all goes as planned, also stay upright. "Once you hear, you can't forget," says Matt Crossett, who first discovered the sport...
What killed off the hook shot?
What killed off the hook shot?

Kentucky center Nick Richards had just dropped 25 points on visiting Fort Wayne in an 86-67 win Nov. 22. Seeking to explain his offensive outburst, the deep-voiced UK freshman told the postgame media horde that Wildcats assistant coach Kenny Payne had been working with him on a jump hook.   The exchange started me thinking about something...
Murphy dreams about at-bats, but that's as close as he'll get to playing 
Murphy dreams about at-bats, but that's as close as he'll get to playing 

Daniel Murphy looked in the mirror and decided it was time to make a change. So, Tuesday morning, he took a seat in the barber's chair in the bathroom in the Washington Nationals' clubhouse. He was scheduled for his annual photo and video shoot for the footage that will be used on the scoreboard at Nationals Park during the season later on. It was...
Garlic Girls take over the Olympics — and their hometown is loving it
Garlic Girls take over the Olympics — and their hometown is loving it

They arrived from all corners of Uiseong County. They brought homemade signs, waved flags and screamed for every shot. They came to celebrate four young women from this farming community who have emerged as the most unexpected (and most gloriously bespectacled) stars of the 2018 Winter Olympics. On Tuesday afternoon, townspeople gathered inside the...
How social media has changed the game for NBA players
How social media has changed the game for NBA players

Stephen Curry has a rule with Twitter. Before he sends a tweet, he’ll re-read it at least once.  “If I hesitate for a half of a second, then most likely I won’t tweet it,” Curry told the Bay Area News Group.   Curry has written many drafts that have never seen daylight. Some were responses to fans, others were...
More Stories