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Dayton women picked to finish second in A-10

Published: Tuesday, October 29, 2019 @ 12:41 PM

The Dayton women’s basketball team huddles before a game in 2018 at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Staff Writer
The Dayton women’s basketball team huddles before a game in 2018 at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff(Staff Writer)

The Dayton Flyers were picked to finish second in the Atlantic 10 Conference women’s basketball preseason poll, which was released Tuesday.

The Flyers finished 17-14 last season and tied for fourth place in the A-10 at 10-6. They earned a NIT bid, falling 74-51 at Northwestern in the first round. They return five of their top six leading scorers, including senior Jayla Scaife, who was named to the A-10 preseason first team.

» OFFSEASON FEATURE: Cassie Sant returns to UD

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“I think we’ve just improved so much from last year just in terms of experience,” Dayton coach Shauna Green said in a video posted to the A-10’s website. “That experience I know has shaped us and helped us grow a lot during the summer. I’m really excited about the depth we have and a great senior group coming back and really the overall experience from top down.”

Dayton received one first-place vote. Virginia Commonwealth, the preseason favorite, received 11 first-place votes. Fordham, picked third, and Saint Louis, picked fourth, also received one first-place vote each.

Davidson was picked to finish fifth and was followed by George Mason, George Washington, Massachusetts, Duquesne, Saint Joseph’s, Richmond, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure and La Salle.

The Flyers play their lone exhibition game at 7 p.m. Friday against Ashland at UD Arena. It will be the first chance for fans to see UD Arena after the completion of the third and final phase of the three-year renovation project.

» OFFSEASON REPORT: Green says Flyers had a great summer

Dayton plays its regular-season opener four days later at 7 p.m. against Lipscomb at UD Arena. Later in November, the Flyers host two of the highest-profile opponents ever to visit UD Arena: South Carolina on Nov. 13 and Connecticut on Nov. 26.

“I say this every year, but this is the hardest schedule we’ve probably ever had here at Dayton with the headliners being UConn and South Carolina,” Green said. “But from top to bottom, every team is high RPI. Every team either was in postseason play in the NCAA tournament or competing for their conference championship. It’s not going to be easy, but that’s what we want every single year.”

2019-20 A-10 Preseason Poll

(first-place votes in parenthesis)

1. VCU (11)

2. Dayton (1)

3. Fordham (1)

4. Saint Louis (1)

5. Davidson

6. George Mason

7. George Washington

8. Massachusetts

9. Duquesne

10. Saint Joseph’s

11. Richmond

12. Rhode Island

13. St. Bonaventure

14. La Salle