Iowa St.-Dayton Preview
Dayton brings one of the country's most prolific offenses into its sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, though coach Jim Jabir believes his Flyers must be ready for anything when facing Iowa State.
Andrea Hoover and seventh-seeded Dayton will try to advance for only the second time in five years Friday in Lexington, Kentucky, as they take on a 10th-seeded Cyclones team looking to move past a late-season slump.
The Flyers (25-6) are aiming to get back on track after shooting 36.4 percent in a 75-62 loss to George Washington in the Atlantic 10 tournament title game that ended an eight-game winning streak.
Dayton, whose three losses in the past 27 games all came against the Colonials, ranks 20th in the nation with 75.2 points per game and it scored 80 or more four times over its season high-tying run.
Hoover averages a team-best 17.6 points and is eighth nationally with a 44.9 3-point shooting percentage. The senior guard, however, has shot 34.5 percent - including 5 of 19 from 3-point range - in her last four games.
Ally Malott is scoring 15.3 per game, while Kelley Austria has had 15 or more points in three of her past four.
"Offensively, they're balanced," Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. "They can score the ball from a variety of spots. Obviously, Hoover will get a lot of attention but I think they're a team that can hurt you in a lot of ways."
Fennelly's team ranked near the bottom of the Big 12 in defensive scoring (63.2) and field-goal percentage (38.9), but Jabir won't be shocked by anything his longtime friend throws at his Flyers.
''Bill has always run a lot of junk defenses and so we will see a diamond-and-one, 2-3 zone, triangle-and-two, so we have to make sure we run our sets with respect of what they're doing," Jabir said. "We just have to be disciplined.''
The Cyclones (18-12), making their ninth straight tournament appearance, have lost two in a row and eight of 12.
Nikki Moody is averaging 18.2 points over her last 10 games, but she went 5 for 24 from the field in a 67-58 loss to Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament. Seanna Johnson has totaled 32 points and 22 rebounds in her last two.
Iowa State ranked first in the Big 12 and seventh in the nation with 8.7 made 3-pointers per game.
Jodie Cornelie-Sigmundova leads the Flyers with 2.6 blocks per game, while Austria averages 1.7 steals.
Dayton is 2-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with only one win since 2011. Iowa State has dropped five of its last six in the field but has only lost in the first round five times in 15 appearances.
The winner of the first-ever meeting between these programs will take on No. 2 Kentucky or No. 15 Tennessee State on Sunday.