Women’s basketball: Dayton Flyers overcome slow start to rout Morehead

Scaife leads Flyers with 16 points

The annual School Day game always rattles the walls of UD Arena. More than 9,000 kids from the area watched the Dayton Flyers women’s basketball team beat Morehead State 58-41 on Thursday morning at UD Arena.

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Jayla Scaife, who led the Flyers with 16 points in her fourth and final School Day game, never tires of the noise the kids bring.

“I love it,” Scaife said. “It helps us to be more motivated knowing we have kids looking up to us. It’s pretty loud, but you learn to get used to it.”

The kids’ enthusiasm helped Dayton overcome a slow start. Neither team scored in the first three minutes. Erin Whalen, who had eight points and eight rebounds, broke the drought with two free throws at the 4:35 mark. Dayton missed its first seven shots and didn’t make a field goal until Araion Bradshaw’s 3-pointer at the 3:44 mark.

“I wish we had been able to score in the first five minutes and given them reason to cheer,” Dayton coach Shauna Green said. “It’s an awesome day. There’s a lot of work that goes into it, and I’m appreciative of everyone who puts all that work in to get all these kids here and the schools that let them get out of school and come to this. It’s just a great environment for our players to play in.”

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The total attendance of 10,554 was the fourth-biggest crowd to watch a Division I women’s basketball game this season. The fans saw Dayton (5-5) get back to .500 with its second straight victory after a four-game losing streak that included overtime losses to Central Michigan and Auburn and losses to No. 4 Connecticut and No. 18 Gonzaga.

Green said that stretch will pay off in the long run “as long as it makes us better and prepares us for conference play and we learn from it.”

Dayton got back on the winning track Sunday in the final game of the Gulf Coast Showcase, beating Maine 78-49. The busy stretch of play continued Thursday as the Flyers played their fifth game in 10 days.

Rebounding was the story of the game. Dayton had a 23-7 advantage in offensive rebounds and outscored Morehead State (3-5) 24-2 in second-chance points.

After the slow start, Dayton took a 9-7 lead into the second quarter and a 24-15 lead into halftime. The Flyers broke the game open in the third quarter, outscoring Morehead State 21-10.

“I challenged them halftime just in terms of the attention to detail and the energy and how hard we were playing,” Green said. “I thought they came out really hard in the third and made a huge run.”

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