Top-Seeded VCU Secures Spot in #A10WBB Championship Final
PITTSBURGH – VCU earned its first-ever trip to the Atlantic 10 Championship final by defeating fourth-seeded Dayton 61-52 in Saturday’s first Atlantic 10 Championship semifinal at the A.J. Palumbo Center.
VCU sophomore guard Olga Petrova’s fourth quarter three-point shot on an out-of-bounds play gave the Rams its first lead over Dayton since the first period of play and it was an advantage the top seed would not relinquish.
“We knew it would be a hard-fought battle and every one of our players had to play their best,” VCU coach Beth O’Boyle said “All year long our team has been such competitors. I am really excited to be playing in that championship game tomorrow.”
It was a defensive battle as VCU shot 32.6% from the field and Dayton concluded play at 29.1%.
The big difference came in the fourth quarter where VCU was able to shoot 63.6% from the field, outscoring Dayton 15-7 in the game’s final six minutes. VCU won the quarter 30-15.
VCU was led by All-Conference Third Team selection Taya Robinson’s 16 points, while All-Conference Third Team member Danielle Hammond added 11 points. All-Conference First Team choice Tera Reed recorded a season-high nine rebounds in the victory. In total, the Rams’ bench outscored Dayton 28-9. VCU also outrebounded Dayton in this game by a 47-31 margin.
Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team selection Jayla Scaife led Dayton with 21 points, though VCU forced her to take 19 shots and 10 free throws to get there.
VCU will play either second-seeded Fordham or third-seeded Duquesne in Sunday’s final. The championship game is scheduled to tip off at noon and will be televised by ESPNU.