Women's Hoops Edged by Dayton, 57-53
Cummings leads way with 17 points but Flyers hold off late rally in fourth quarter
WASHINGTON - A nationally-televised showdown between traditional Atlantic 10 powerhouses brought the Dayton Flyers to Washington, D.C., for a Sunday matinee, and the host Colonials were geared up for the biannual clash.
When the teams met three weeks prior in Dayton, the Flyers were in the early stages of a 13-game winning streak that brought them to DC with a perfect 12-0 conference mark and a 19-4 record overall. Meanwhile GW, who has won or shared the A-10 title for three straight years, was on a streak of its own with a season-best three-game winning streak coming into today's action playing its best ball of the year heading down the stretch, so something had to give. Unfortunately for the Colonials, they blinked first in a 57-53 defeat.
GW netted the first bucket of the game on a three-pointer from Kelsi Mahoney - who dropped in a career-high tying 17 points last time out - and later in the first a three-ball from Camila Tapias allowed GW to double-up Dayton at 12-6 with 2:55 to play in the stanza. GW led 12-8 after one, but Dayton clawed back to knot the score at a dozen each just before the 8:00 mark of the second. The Flyers extended to a 6-0 spurt to start the quarter to assume a 14-12 lead, before Kelli Prange found the scoring column to tie it at 14. Prange and the Flyers then traded basket after basket as the senior got six straight points for GW, with fellow senior Brianna Cummings stuck on the bench with foul trouble for the duration of the quarter. An 18-18 tie turned into a 29-24 Flyers' lead at the half.
Dayton took control in the third with a 20-13 edge in scoring in the quarter, punctuated by a Jenna Burdette three from near half court put the Flyers up, 49-37, after three. GW fought back though with the first eight points of the fourth quarter, and after trailing by as many as 14 late in the third, a steal and breakaway put-in by Brianna Cummings drew GW within four at 49-45. Moments later a three-pointer from Mei-Lyn Bautista pulled the Colonials within a possession at 51-48 with 3:40 to go. With GW down 53-50 heading into the final :90 seconds, Bautista came calling again. Another three after a massive offensive rebound by Tapias knotted the game at 53-53 with 1:23 to play, but that would be the last of the Colonials scoring.
Cummings led the way for GW with 17 points, while Burdette paced Dayton with 13. Bautista finished with eight points for GW while racking up four assists against just one turnover. Freshman Neila Luma held team rebounding honors with her six caroms collected.
Up next for the Colonials is another home date on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. against Massachusetts with just four games remaining in the regular season before the Atlantic 10 Championship commences on February 28th.
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