Women’s Basketball Closes Out-of-Conference Play with Win Over Albany


Fordham gets a boost against Albany as they move into Atlantic-10 action. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

The Fordham women’s basketball team entered Tuesday afternoon with a bad taste in its mouth. After a victory on Friday night over Hofstra in which sophomore guard Anna DeWolfe flirted with the program’s single-game scoring record, the Rams kicked off conference play with a loss to Davidson in which they allowed 79 points and multiple easy baskets in the second half.

On Tuesday, though, Fordham finished out-of-conference play by righting the ship against UAlbany. The game was not initially on the two teams’ schedules, but both agreed to play the game after losing games on their schedule due to COVID-19-related cancelations.

Fordham earned a 71-42 victory over the Great Danes to move to 3-2 on the season. DeWolfe once again led the team with 21 points on 8-16 shooting. Senior Kendell Heremaia, who was plagued by early foul trouble in Monday’s loss, played her best game of the season, earning 13 points and 11 rebounds before halftime. Junior forward Meg Jonassen, inserted into the starting lineup since Friday night’s game against Hofstra, came a rebound shy of a double-double, with 12 points and nine rebounds.

The win on Tuesday was a complete reversal of the team’s play on Monday. While Monday’s Rams allowed 79 points and over 50% shooting, Tuesday’s Rams allowed just 42 points on slightly below 33% shooting for UAlbany. 31 of the Great Danes’ 42 points were scored in the second half when the outcome was largely decided; Fordham carried a 37-11 lead into the halftime break and never looked back. 

Fordham’s defense was the story of the game. The Rams allowed just four made field goals in the first half on 25 UAlbany attempts. After Monday’s performance, Fordham was far more disciplined and aggressive defensively, forcing difficult shots that led to misses and turnovers. Both of Fordham’s interior forwards, Jonassen and junior Kaitlyn Downey, played excellent defensive games, forcing the likes of UAlbany sophomore forward Hilene Haegerstrand, who entered the game averaging 15 points per game, into contested shots. Haegerstrand earned just two points on 1-5 shooting.

Tuesday’s win comes at the end of a rollercoaster three-game stretch for Fordham. On Friday, the Rams took down Hofstra 72-58. Assistant coach Val Nainima earned her first career head coaching win, as head coach Stephanie Gaitley remained in quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19. On Monday, Gaitley returned, but Davidson ran away with an Atlantic 10-opening victory. On Tuesday, Fordham put it back together, with a strong win over UAlbany to finish off conference play.

Now, Fordham looks ahead to the start of conference play. The Rams will take on George Mason on New Year’s Day at 1 p.m. and George Washington on Jan. 3. After a bumpy start to conference play on Monday, Fordham gets a break before the work of succeeding in the Atlantic 10 resumes in 2021.

With so little certainty around this college basketball season, though, both teams will be happy with the ability to play a game, even if only one team technically won.