The University of Dayton women’s basketball team went undefeated in league play at UD Arena during the regular season. Next up? Doing it during the postseason, too.
Dayton knocked off Saint Louis 73-57 in front of 2,549 spectators at UD Arena on Saturday’s Senior Day. Senior Lauren Cannatelli’s game-high 23 points helped the Flyers avenge a 68-65 triple-overtime loss at Saint Louis on Jan. 23.
The Flyers capped the regular season 11-1 at UD Arena. An 84-79 overtime loss to Northeastern on Nov. 17 was the lone blemish. They go win for No. 12 when UD hosts a first-round game in the A10 tournament 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“(Our seniors) had a great game,” UD coach Shauna Green said of Ashleigh Parkinson, Maddy Dennis, Tiaera Phillips and Cannatelli. “They’re just good kids, they work hard and they do things the Dayton way. I’m so proud of them and we’re going to miss them. We still have games left to be played so I’m glad to still have them in uniform.”
Cannatelli shot 8-of-13 from the field and just missed her season high by three points. She also played lock-down defense on Jordyn Frantz, whose seven points Saturday were eight under her average. Junior Jayla Scaife added 18 points for the Flyers (15-12 overall, 10-6 A10).
Dayton pushed the tempo against Saint Louis (14-15, 9-7 A10) and outscored the Billikens 20-4 on fastbreak points. Saint Louis led for a 3:30 stretch in the first quarter. After that it was all UD.
The Flyers stretched their lead to 17 points (41-24) a minute before halftime. They pushed it to 20 (59-39) to end the third quarter. Saint Louis had a mini rally to pull within 66-54 with four minutes remaining, but got no closer.
“I was really happy with our defense, first,” Green said, “because our defense leads to our pace. That’s a really good Saint Louis team right there. But I thought our pace was huge and that was something we needed to get back to …. playing UD basketball.”
Sophomore Araion Bradshaw had 10 points and seven rebounds for UD. Dennis added nine points and five rebounds and two blocks.
A win Tuesday night sends UD to the A10 quarterfinals Friday at Duquesne’s A.J. Palulmbo Center in Pittsburgh.
“We’ve been really good at home,” Green said. “Now we have to be figure out how to bring it on the road. … We’ll be locked in and ready to go Tuesday night.”
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