RICHMOND, Va. - The defending champion Dayton Flyers repelled multiple comeback attempts by the Richmond Spiders in the second half, using a torrid free throw shooting performance to win 67-58 Friday in the quarterfinal round of the 2018 Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Championship at the Richmond (Va) Coliseum.
Four Flyers were in double figures, as Lauren Cannatelli and JaVonna Layfield each scored seventeen points, while Jenna Burdette had fourteen and Jayla Scaife added ten. Combined, the quartet shot 26-of-31 at the free throw line, as top-seeded Dayton shot 83.9 percent. Scaife paced Dayton (23-5) on the glass with twelve rebounds, while Layfield grabbed eleven. Both players earned Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors earlier in the week.
"We preach attack mode every single day, no matter if we're playing Richmond or whoever we're playing," said Dayton head coach Shauna Green. "How they guard, how aggressive they are, and how much they get up, you have to go after them. You have to attack them, otherwise, you let their pressure be an advantage to them."
The Spiders (14-17) erased a 6-0 Dayton run to start the game with a 9-0 blitz of their own, holding a 16-15 lead after a period. The Flyers open the second period on a 9-0 run, giving them the advantage of playing ahead for the rest of the contest. Dayton led for just over thirty minutes during the game.
Richmond shut down the Flyers' three-point game in the second half, as Dayton missed all six attempts from beyond the arc. The Spiders got within one point on two different occasions, the final time at 51-50 with 4:41 remaining in the game. Burdette drove for a basket to up their lead to
Micaela Parson, named the Atlantic 10's Most Improved Player this week, led Richmond in her final game for the Spiders with 24 points, eight rebounds
"That was a tough opening #1 vs #8 game, and I give Richmond a lot of credit," Green noted. "It's not always going to be pretty, it's not always going to be a perfect game. We need to be able to find a way. We made plays when we had to on the defensive end, we made some shots and free throws. This time of year, you find a way to play another day."
The Flyers await the winner of #4 George Mason and #5 George Washington in the first semifinal, set for Saturday at 11:00 am. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.