The Dayton Flyers women’s basketball team practiced at UD Arena for the first time since last March on Wednesday.
Bright and early at 6 a.m, they took the floor as the first players to see the renovations from phase two of the three-year, $72-million project. The men’s team got its chance later that day.
Then Thursday night, coach Shauna Green’s Flyers took the court at the arena in front of a crowd of 1,436, kicking off the season with a 67-56 victory against Indianapolis in an exhibition game. The regular season starts at 11 a.m. Nov. 9 with a home game against Colgate.
» PHOTOS: Dayton beats Indianapolis
Dayton led 23-20 after the first quarter but took control by outscoring the Greyhounds 15-5 in the second quarter.
“I thought there were some really good moments,” Green said. “The second quarter was great. I thought our defensive intensity and positioning, what we’ve been stressing and working on, they were really, really disciplined in that, but there were moments, like at the start of the fourth quarter, when we had a big lead and now all of a sudden they hit open 3s. That was all on us not being where we need to be. They go on an 8-0 run, and now they make it a game. That was our returners out there, so we need to get better with that. I tell them we need to be consistent defensively.”
Redshirt junior forward Julia Chandler scored 14 points to lead the Flyers. Chandler, a transfer from Syracuse who sat out last season, made 6 of 8 shots from the field, including 2 of 3 3-pointers in her first game at UD Arena.
Jayla Scaife added 11 points for Dayton. Araion Bradshaw had 10 points. Shakeela Fowler, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, scored seven points.
» FIRST LOOK: Fans get to see renovated UD Arena
Of the three true freshman, Kyla Whitehead received the most playing time, seeing 13 minutes. She scored four points.
Dayton shot 39 percent from the field, while Indianapolis shot 42 percent, but the Flyers took 18 more shots thanks in part to 15 offensive rebounds. Indianapolis had four offensive rebounds.
“I thought there were a lot of bright spots,” Green said. “I’m still trying to find rotations. They are still trying (to learn to play) with certain people. We’re not used to having this many people, so there are so many different lineups we can throw out there. This was really good to see some people step up. Julia Chandler had a great game. A.B. and Shakeela were aggressive and got int he paint and made some things happen. Kyla had some really good moments off the bench in terms of defense. There are a lot of things we need to clean up defensively and we will, but we got that night in the first bright lights out of the way, and hopefully, we can be sharper the next time.”