With five games to play, Dayton has a 2½-game lead over Virginia Commonwealth (13-10, 8-2), which lost 56-55 at home to George Washington on Sunday. Dayton plays VCU at noon Sunday at UD Arena. It will be the only regular-season game between the schools.
Dayton beat UMass (16-9, 6-6) despite losing a four-point lead in the final minute. A jump shot by Julia Chandler gave Dayton a 50-46 lead. Then a basket by Bre Hampton-Bey and then a 3-point play by Sam Breen, a former Dayton commit who started her career at Penn State before transferring to UMass, gave UMass a 51-50 lead with 37 seconds to play.
Then with 8 seconds left, Scaife was fouled on a shot attempt in the paint. On a night when she made 1 of 13 shots from the field, she made 4 of 4 free throws.
Kyla Whitehead led Dayton with 11 points. Julia Chandler scored 10.