Dayton tops VCU to win Atlantic 10 women’s basketball tournament, clinch NCAA bid

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Flyers clinch NCAA tournament bid with 52-48 win over VCU in A-10 women's basketball tournament championship game Sunday at UD Arena.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Jayla Scaife and Kyla Whitehead had 13 points apiece as Dayton beat VCU 52-48 in the Atlantic 10 women’s basketball championship game Sunday afternoon.

Dayton entered the fourth quarter with a 39-36 lead after a slugfest third quarter that featured 11 fouls, 14 free throw attempts and five made field goals.

The teams traded the lead six times in the quarter with the Flyers pulling ahead on Kyla Whitehead’s 3-pointer late in the period.

Whitehead had a pair of baskets early in the fourth quarter as Dayton stretched its lead to 45-38, prompting VCU coach Beth O’Boyle to call timeout with 7:07 left.

The Rams scored eight of the next 10 and had a chance to take the lead, but Taya Robinson’s driving layup was off the mark with a minute left.

Scaife got the ball and drew a foul on Robinson then hit a pair of free throws to push the Flyers’ lead back to three points with 38.5 seconds left.

After a VCU basket by Tera Reed, Araion Bradshaw made a pair of free throws to restore the three-point lead again.

Reed then took a 3 that missed everything, and Scaife made one of two free throws to make it a two-possession game.

Scaife then finished it off by swatting the final VCU shot attempt, sending the ball into the backcourt and UD Arena into a frenzy.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Shakeela Fowler, Julia Chandler and Shauna Green excited for a ring and a chance to keep playing.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The teams were tied at 25 at the half.

Dayton led for most of the first quarter while the Rams were on top for most of the second.

The Flyers scored the last four points of the second quarter and had a chance to take the lead, but Scaife wasn’t able to finish an old-fashioned 3-point play.

Scaife led the Flyers with eight points in the first half while Taya Robinson had 10 for the Rams.

Dayton and VCU met as the teams expected to be here when the season began.

The Rams were picked to repeat as Atlantic 10 regular season champions with Dayton No. 2, but the Flyers won the league by two games to secure the No. 1 seed while VCU settled for second.

Dayton advanced to the A-10 championship game for the first time since winning it in 2017. The Flyers also won the 2012 tournament.

VCU lost the A-10 championship game last season in its first attempt.

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