Cook turning into big-time scoring threat for Dayton

Dayton's Makira Cook drives toward the basket against Fordham at UD Arena on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022. Erik Schelkun/UD Athletics

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Dayton's Makira Cook drives toward the basket against Fordham at UD Arena on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022. Erik Schelkun/UD Athletics

Flyers receive top-25 votes this week as winning streak reaches 12

Makira Cook continues to blossom as a go-to scorer, one capable of dominant performances, for the Dayton Flyers.

Cook, a 5-foot-6 sophomore guard from Mount Notre Dame High School in Cincinnati, scored 29 points Saturday in an 84-44 victory against George Mason at UD Arena. She also hit that number against Wright State on Dec. 31. She had 27 points against Saint Louis on Jan. 16.

“When we recruited her, we knew she was a high-level player,” coach Shauna Green said Monday, “and as a freshman, she had really good games. Now it’s about learning the consistency of what’s expected at this level. I definitely knew she had it within her. She’s a scorer, and she can score at all three levels. When she gets her 3-point shot going, which she did the other day, and she has that beautiful mid-range game and she can get to the rim, she’s really hard to guard at any level. Her jump shot is so smooth, and when she gets in that rhythm, she makes it look effortless.”

Cook, who averaged 6.2 points per game as a freshman, is now averaging a team-best 16.1 points. She made 13 of 15 field-goal attempts, including 3 of 4 3-pointers against George Mason.

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Dayton (18-3, 9-0) won its 12th straight game, maintaining a half-game edge in the Atlantic 10 Conference over Rhode Island (18-3, 8-0), which has won 11 games in a row. The Flyers play at Saint Louis (6-13, 2-5) at noon Wednesday.

Dayton has climbed to No. 47 in the NCAA Evaluation Tool and is projected by ESPN to get a No. 12 seed in the NCAA tournament as the A-10′s automatic qualifier.

Voters in the Associated Press top-25 poll are starting to take notice of Dayton’s success. The Flyers received votes in the poll this week for the first time.

“I think it’s always great for our program,” Green said, “and it’s great for these kids because I really truly believe they deserve it with what they’ve consistently done throughout this year and how many games they’ve won. We know it’s a byproduct and an outcome of every day and every game trying to have the mindset of going 1-0. We’re going to keep focused on the day to day and game to game, but I’m happy for our kids because I think this is a really good team and I think we can play with anyone in the country when we’re playing well.”

WEDNESDAY’S GAME

Dayton at Saint Louis, Noon, ESPN+

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