Dayton fell 17-13, and while its NCAA tournament chances died, it could still earn a NIT bid. The Flyers were 14-14 when they last missed the NCAA tournament in 2016 and played in the NIT that season.
Green said she hopes this team gets more postseason experience, but it will be a long wait to find out if the season will continue. The NIT bracket will be announced March 18.
Shauna Green: Fourth quarter costly again in loss to VCU
A 47-31 rebounding edge for VCU helped decide this game as did a disparity in free throws. Dayton made 16 of 20. VCU made 27 of 36, including 14 of 16 in the fourth quarter.
» EARLIER COVERAGE: First-round victory | Quarterfinal victory | Senior Day victory
Neither team shot the ball well. Dayton made 16 of 55 field goals (29.1 percent) and 4 of 14 3-pointers (28.6), while VCU made 15 of 46 field goals (32.6) and 4 of 8 3-pointers (50.0).
Dayton led 40-31 after a 3-pointer by Lauren Cannatelli with 9:22 left in the fourth. VCU then began a 14-2 run, taking the lead on a 3-pointer by Olga Petrova at the 4:53 mark and pushing its advantage to 45-42 on a jumper by Petrova on the next possession.
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Jayla Scaife led the Flyers with 21 points. Brittany Ward scored seven. Cannatelli and Shakeela Fowler each had six.
“When you go out there and you give everything you have, it just hurts more,” Ward said. “I know me and my team really wanted this win, and to have our seniors go out with a championship would have been great, and another NCAA tournament run would have been great. I feel like my team still gave everything we had. We fought hard. We just have to make sure we play for 40 minutes.”