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LOWELL, Mass. –
The University of Dayton came up just short of winning its first ever Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Championship, falling to No. 5 Xavier 67-60 in the Flyers’ first appearance in the final.
Junior Justine Raterman, who was named to the All-Championship team for the third consecutive season, led the Flyers with 19 points. Senior Kristin Daugherty, who was also named to the All-Championship team, added 12 points. Freshman Cassie Sant contributed eight points. Redshirt junior Elle Queen tied her career high with six assists.
Dayton is now 21-11 overall and Xavier improves to 28-2.
Xavier’s Ta’Shia Phillips was named the Most Outstanding Player led all scorers with 26 points and 15 rebounds. Amber Harris and Special Jennings were also named to the All-Championship team for the Musketeers.
Xavier outrebounded the Flyers 49-32 and scored 50 points in the paint to Dayton’s 22.
Raterman scored the first points of the game on a jumper and Phillips answered with a post up play, and then the Flyers used a 9-0 run and led 11-2 after a bucket by Kristin Daugherty at 15:08. UD held Xavier to just two field goals in the first seven minutes of the game.
Daugherty’s jumper at 13:21 gave the Flyers their biggest lead of the half, 15-4.
The Musketeers got back within two after a layup by Phillips to make the score 22-20 with 6:10 left to play in the half. UD used another five-point burst from Raterman to go back up by seven, 27-20 at the 4:30 mark.
Two Raterman jumpers and a Daugherty basket pushed the Flyer lead to 35-28. Phillips scored another basket in the paint with 30 seconds left for the halftime score, UD up 35-30.
The Flyers started the half strong and went up 34-27 on a three by Patrice Lalor.
XU took its first lead of the game, 43-41, on a pair of Special Jennings free throws at 12:42.
The teams traded baskets and in a span of seven minutes (12:42-4:55) there were nine lead changes and three ties when Xavier led 54-53 with 4:55 left in the game.
Xavier went up by five, 58-53, but UD clawed its way back and tied it at 60-all on a Raterman lay up with two minutes left.
The Musketeers went on a 7-0 run, including 5-for-5 from the free throw line to close out the game.