Shauna Green has high hopes for her Dayton Flyers women’s basketball program this season not only in an improved record and postseason performance but in the number of fans it draws to UD Arena.
» PHOTOS: First glance inside UD Arena
Dayton averaged 2,373 fans in 14 homes last season. That was better than the national average of 1,583 in Division I women’s basketball. Dayton ranked just outside the top 50 in the nation and led the Atlantic 10 Conference by more than 400 fans per game.
However, the completion of the three-year UD Arena renovation project and a strong home non-conference schedule makes Green think the Flyers can draw even more fans in the 2019-20 season, which starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday against Lipscomb.
“We’ve done well,” Green said, “but I think we can continue to draw better. I want to continue to push that. With two big-time games coming here to the arena with UConn and South Carolina, why can’t we get 10,000 people here? Why can’t we get this place almost sold out? That’s my expectation. That’s what I would love to have. That’s my vision. We want people to come out and see our women play. I think you’ll enjoy watching this brand of basketball. It’s fast and free, and it’s a fun style to watch.”
Dayton beat Ashland 77-67 on Friday in exhibition game. Jayla Scaife led the Flyers with 28 points. The game gave fans their first chance UD Arena after the third and final phase of the upgrade.
Tuesday’s game will be the first regular-season game of the new season, and the men follow with a 7 p.m. game Saturday against Indiana State.
» PREVIEW: Green says team grew up in preseason
Lipscomb returns 10 players from last year, nine of whom played for a 4-25 team that won one road game all season. Lipscomb has a second-year coach, Lauren Sumski, who previously coached at Rhodes College.
This will be the second game between Dayton and Lipscomb. They played in the Dayton Flyer Classic in 2008, and Dayton won 76-36.
Green will focus on what her team does for the entire 40 minutes. She has talked throughout the offseason of finishing games strong.
“I just want to see us come out from the tip and be focused,” she said. “Just one possession at a time and try to be consistent throughout 40 minutes. Our big emphasis has been getting back to what we were my first two years. We always made runs at the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth. We felt that was our time to make runs with our pace. We did that in our scrimmage (vs. Butler). We’re really trying just to finish. We have to be able to finish quarters, finish plays and finish games.”
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.