Sunday, March 7, 2010

Surging To The Semifinals

It's on to the semifinals for the University of Dayton women's basketball team at the 2010 Atlantic 10 Championship in Upper Marlboro, Md. The second-seeded Flyers improved to 24-6 Saturday evening with a 83-66 victory over No. 7 St. Bonaventure in the quarterfinals.

The sophomores led the way to victory, scoring 54 of UD's 83 points. Justine Raterman scored a team-high 20 points, and Patrice Lalor added a career-high 18. Kayla Moses added 10 more off the bench, while Casey Nance netted five points and Elle Queen scored one.

“I feel like we beat a very good team today. It was not an easy game by any stretch. I think St. Bonaventure is one of the best coached teams in the country,” head coach Jim Jabir told DaytonFlyers.com. “I thought our defense was a little suspect, and they took advantage of it. We were able to get enough points on the board to compensate.”

St. Bonaventure (22-9) scored the game's first points on a Dana Mitchell basket, but UD reponded with a Raterman three-pointer - one that started an 8-0 run and gave the Flyers the lead for good.

UD led 37-30 at halftime thanks in part of Lalor, who scored eight of UD's last nine points of the first half. She scored 12 before halftime and continued a trend of excelling against the Bonnies. Her previous career high of 16 points also came against SBU in January.

“Last time (against SBU), I attacked, and that’s how I got a lot of my points.  I attacked and went to the hole and got fouled. I did the same thing today,” Lalor told DaytonFlyers.com. “I tried to be more aggressive because this was a really important game for us. I wanted to go out and do as much I could for the team.”

Dayton cruised to victory in the second half and set up a rematch with No. 3 Temple Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The Flyers defeated the Owls Feb. 20 in a key A-10 showdown. UD won 73-61 behind a big effort from Kendel Ross. The team's lone senior scored a team-high 16 points and became the 19th UD women's basketball player to reach the 1,000 career point mark.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Atlantic 10 Tournament Time

The Atlantic 10 women's basketball tournament begins today at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md., but the Flyers won't take the court until Saturday evening. Second-seeded UD will face the winner of No. 7 St. Bonaventure/No. 10 Saint Louis at 5:30 p.m. The Bonnies and Billikens face off at 5:30 p.m. tonight. The Flyers have played and beaten both teams at UD Arena this season. Against SBU, Patrice Lalor had a career day with 16 points Jan. 16 in a 76-65 victory. UD's lone senior, Kendel Ross, recorded a double double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. The Flyers used their size to batter the Bonnies, outscoring SBU 42-16 in the paint. Against the Billikens, 13 Flyers scored points in a 73-54 victory on Feb. 7. Ross again led the effort with 14 points, while junior Kristin Daugherty and sophomore De'Sarae Chambers each added 10 points.

Dayton (23-6, 11-3) has to be viewed as one of the tournament contender. UD only lost three times in the A-10 during the regular season, and two of thoe defeats came to top-seeded Xavier. The Musketeers (24-3, 13-0) are ranked fifth in the nation and are the clear favorites, although UD did beat Xavier in the A-10 tournament last season. Temple (22-7, 11-3) and Charlotte (16-12, 9-5) also have first-round byes.

Here's a look at the today's A-10 tournament action:
  • No. 8 Richmond (18-11, 7-7) vs. No. 9 UMass (11-18, 5-9) at Noon - Winner plays No. 1 Xavier; UR won the regular season meeting 73-62 at UMass.
  • No. 5 Saint Joseph's (16-13, 9-5) vs. No. 12 Fordham (8-21, 2-11) at 2:30 p.m. - Winner plays No. 4 Charlotte; SJU won earlier meeting 62-57 in what was both teams' A-10 opener.
  • No. 7 St. Bonaventure (21-8, 9-5) vs. No. 10 Saint Louis (11-18, 5-9) at 5:30 p.m. - Winner plays UD; SBU beat SLU 75-63 earlier this season.
  • No. 6 Duquesne (19-10, 9-5) vs. No. 11 George Washington (6-21, 3-11) at 8 p.m. - Winner play No. 3 Temple; The Dukes beat GW 66-64 in the regular season meeting.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Look Ahead To La Salle

Coach Jabir’s charges return to the court Saturday afternoon for their regular-season finale at La Salle. The Flyers really shouldn’t have much of a problem against the Explorers, who bring a measly 7-21 record and a 2-11 mark in the Atlantic-10. Seniors Morgan Robertson and Jamie Walsh led LU. Robertson, a 6-0 forward, is the team’s leading scorer with an average of 10.1 points per game. Walsh, a guard, averages 9.9 points per game. If UD can slow these two players down, the Flyers will cruise to an easy victory. The Explorers are the worst team in the A-10 in scoring average.

The Flyers will also likely dominate the battle on the glass. UD ranks second to only Xavier in rebounding offense with 42.8 boards per game. Conversely La Salle is dead last with 29.1 per game. Again, Walsh leads the Explorers’ rebounding efforts with 5.4 per game. UD's leading rebounder, Casey Nance (right), could have a big game.

Despite the obvious mismatch, don’t expect Dayton to sleepwalk through the game. UD still needs to beat La Salle to clinch the No. 2 seed for the upcoming Atlantic 10 Tournament, which will be held March 5-8 in Upper Marlboro, Md. If the A-10 standings stay the way they are heading into this weekend, the Flyers would next play March 6 against the winner of the 7/10 first-round matchup. Right now that would be St. Bonaventure (20-8, 8-5) vs. UMass (10-17, 4-8).

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A New Era

Yes, you've read the banner correctly. For the rest of the 2009-10 college basketball season, Peanut Butter and A Blanket has become the Jim Jabir Jambaroo. Just because the men's basketball Flyers have essentially given up doesn't mean UD fans should ignore the talented women's team that calls UD Arena home.

In case you haven't paid much attention to Jabir's squad, here's a quick synopsis. The Flyers, led by standouts Justine Raterman, Kendel Ross and Kristen Daugherty, look like a lock for the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance. UD has wins over three major power conference schools: Michigan State, Georgetown and Purdue. UD boasts a 23-6 record with a 11-3 mark in the Atlantic 10. This squad is the third consecutive group to post at least 20 wins - a program record.

They defeated Rhode Island 75-56 last night on Senior Night, one game after Ross - the team's lone senior - became the 19th UD women's basketball player to join the 1,000-point club. Ross scored eight points and the Rams (9-19, 2-12) posed little threat. UD led by 20 in the first half, built a 38-21 halftime lead and cruised to victory. Raterman led the Flyers with 14 points, with Patrice Lalor (12) and Elle Queen (10) posting double-figure scoring efforts. Casey Nance, daughter of former NBA All-Star and 1984 Slam Dunk Contest champion Larry Nance, pulled down 10 rebounds.

The Flyers are currently tied for second in the A-10 with Temple and trail only Xavier. The Musketeers, who have already clinched the regular season conference title, are No. 5 in the nation and have handed UD two of its three conference losses, including a 80-79 overtime defeat on Feb. 17. FYI, if UD and Temple end the regular season with the same conference record, the Flyers would get the No. 2 seed thanks to their win over the Owl on Feb. 20.

Jabir's crew finishes the regular season Saturday at 1 p.m. at La Salle. I'll hopefully have a look ahead to the game against the Explorers before then.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

BAH!!!

I wrote this after UD lost in the NIT quarterfinals at Ohio State (after leading at halftime) two seasons ago. I thought about it again this afternoon as UD lost at Duquesne.

• It's fitting that UD's season ended tonight at Ohio State, a place where "nice guy" John Cooper was fired. Cooper had a nice overall record and got OSU to a few good bowls, but he couldn't beat Michigan and the Buckeyes usually struggled in the postseason.

To me, Brian Gregory is John Cooper. Gregory is a nice guy with a nice overall record at UD. But the man cannot coach/motivate. He can't get it done against Xavier, and I just got home from watching his Flyers once again play well in the first half only to come out in the second flat and uninspired. I'm just sick of it honestly. It's a broken record.

Turns out, I'm still fucking sick of it. I'm sick of late-game dumbassery. I'm sick of this team, which cannot shoot threes consistently for ANYTHING, falling in love with the long-range shots. I'm sick of inconsistent point guards, mind-numbing substitution patterns and dry spells that last five minutes a game. I'm sick of watching Brian Gregory get his head handed to him by mediocre-at-best A-10 coaches. The Flyers are a fucking terrible 21-34 in A-10 road games. Twenty-one-and fucking-34. Holy shit, that's awful. They've won a whopping two road conference games this season at powerhouses Fordham and Saint Bonaventure. Oh, and the Rams and Bonnies were without their best players...and STILL LED UD IN THE SECOND HALF!! Do you have ANY hope at all this team can win at Temple or Richmond?

This was the end of the season this afternoon, folks. Don't fucking reward mediocrity by going to any NIT games. I don't care who comes to UD Arena to play in the first round. Don't send the message that this is acceptable in any way. You think Gonzaga, Butler or even fucking Xavier would be OK with a season like this? I'm a native Daytonian who has followed UD basketball since I was a child, and I can't think of a more disappointing season than this one.

Holy crap.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What's NOT Acceptable?

This blog.

Monday, December 14, 2009

What's Acceptable?

Dayton has played most, if not all, of their tough non-conference matchups. They currently have a win over a good Georgia Tech team, two losses to good BCS caliber opponents, and a handful of other uninspired wins against mostly weaker competition. Our beloved Flyers are looking at a 7-2 record through nine games, with five non-conference games remaining.

Here's the remaining non-conference schedule with records and RPI rank (according to Sportsline.com as of 12/14/09.

vs. Presbyterian (2-8, RPI 284)
vs. Applachian State (5-4, RPI 190)
vs. Boston University (4-6, RPI 148)
@ New Mexico (10-0, RPI 8)
vs. Ball State (3-4, RPI 232)

I think it goes without saying that the Flyers have to win the remaining four home games. The question becomes the New Mexico game. Are you willing to forgive a loss to the Lobos on their home floor? Would you be satisfied with an 11-3 non-conference record?

Or do you think the New Mexico game is a must-win, since it is two non-BCS schools going head-to-head?

While I want the Flyers to win out certainly, I would accept a close loss to New Mexico. I would gladly take an 11-3 record into the conference schedule. The Nova loss is fine, and the Kansas State loss keeps looking better and better as they rattle off more and more wins.

Your thoughts?