March 6, 2011
LOWELL, Mass. - The No. 6 Dayton women's basketball team withstood a late charge from the second-seeded Temple Owls to secure a 75-67 win and the right to face No. 1 Xavier Monday in the 2011 Atlantic-10 Women's Basketball Championship Final. The championship game will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 5 p.m.
The Owls opened with a breakaway layup from Shey Peddy and a jumper from Qwedia Wallace for a 4-0 start in the opening 90 seconds. A slew of early turnovers stalled offensive efforts for both the Owls and Flyers as the teams went to the first media break with the score standing still at 4-0.
Samantha MacKay got Dayton on the board with a bucket following the break in play. Olivia Appewhite flipped in a layup at the 13:50 mark for the Flyers to cut the lead to 6-4 and followed with a jumper from the foul line to tie the game on Dayton's next possession.
Temple's Natasha Thames grabbed an offensive rebound at the 12:40 mark and quickly put the ball back in for an easy two to give the Eagles a four-point lead, 10-6. Kristen Daugherty drilled a corner three for the Flyers just before the halfway mark of the half to trim the Owls lead to one at 12-11.
Wallace responded with two made free throws at the 9:34 mark in the first to push the lead back to three for the Owls. Justine Raterman tied the game for the Flyers on the next possession, converting a three-point play after she was fouled on a tough layup. Raterman added two more free throws following the eight-minute media timeout to give Dayton an 18-16 lead.
The Flyers pushed the lead to four on an Applewhite layup off a no-look behind-the-head pass from MacKay with just over six minutes remaining in the half. After a surge from the Owls to tie the game, 24-24, Dayton's Patrice Lalor drove strong down the right side of the lane earning the foul call as the ball dropped through the basket. After hitting the free throw, the Flyers went back up by three, 27-26, with just under four minutes left in the opening half.
Dayton improved the lead to six heading into halftime, 38-32. Raterman paced the Flyers with 12 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field and making all five of her free throw attempts in the opening frame. All seven Owls that played in the first half scored, with Wallace leading the way with eight points.
Daugherty made the Flyers lead eight just seven seconds into the second half as she converted a layup while being fouled, but she failed to make the following free throw. Kristen McCarthy banked in a shot from the left side for Temple to close the gap to four with 18:00 minutes remaining in the game.
At the 14:58 mark, Daugherty was hacked once again while driving to the hoop. This time she converted the layup and the attempt from the charity stripe to give Dayton the game's largest lead up to that point, 48-36. After an Owls bucket on their next possession, Casey Nance converted her own conventional three-point play for the Flyers, improving the lead to 13.
Dayton made it a 19-point difference when Raterman collected a pass and was fouled going strong to the tin to earn yet another three-point play. She would convert the free throw attempt to make it 58-38 with just over 10 minutes left in the second stanza.
Temple began chipping away at the lead as Wallace drove through middle of the paint and slipped in a left-handed layup, cutting the deficit to 16. Peddy followed with a runner of her own in the paint on the Owls next possession, making it 59-44 in favor of Dayton. McCarthy completed her own layup and free throw conversion as she was fouled driving to the right side of the hoop, making it a 14-point game.
McCarthy banked in a jump shot for the Owls from the right side just past the six-minute mark to make it a 10-point contest, 61-51. Wallace made it 61-53, when she converted a transition layup with 4:17 remaining in the game.
The Owls cut the deficit to as few as five in the final minute of the second half, but the Flyers were able to make their free throws and hold on for the 75-67 victory.
"Our defense was stellar against a team with a lot of weapons," Dayton head coach Jim Jabir said following the win. "We also executed extremely well on the offensive end."
Three Flyers reached double figure scoring totals as Daugherty tallied 16 points, Raterman added 15 and Lalor dropped in 11. Temple's McCarthy led all scorers with 18 points, while Wallace followed with 17 and Thames and Peddy each contributed 11.