Dingle, Women’s Basketball Start Season Strong Against Quinnipiac

Defense has always been the mantra of Stephanie Gaitley’s game plan, and an electric performance from newcomer Asiah Dingle and continued leadership from Anna DeWolfe, Kendell Heremaia and Kaitlyn Downey, among others, against Quinnipiac showed exactly why that is the case,


Dingle wasted no time reminding the fans of the player that burned them from double digits when the two teams faced a season ago.

The first game of the season is when teams can show the competition what they should expect. Teams know that they must start out strong, and the Fordham women’s basketball team heard that message loud and clear. On opening night, the Rams faced the Quinnipiac University Bobcats in the Rose Hill Gym. Fans gathered in anticipation of a thrilling night, and they were not disappointed. 

Fordham’s first win did not come until overtime, as they fought hard to defeat the Bobcats, who clawed back from a late deficit for an extra opportunity to secure the win. This win did not come without some standout performances. Senior guard Asiah Dingle, a transfer from Stony Brook University, had a stellar debut, scoring 34 points and having six steals. Senior Kaitlyn Downey had a double-double and freshman Millie Prior had nine offensive rebound after starting in place of senior forward Meg Jonassen.

After falling 62–58 to Quinnipiac last season, it seemed like Fordham was heading toward the same outcome In the first half of this game. The Rams carried a pervasive energy into opening night but hte Bobcats were simply able to shoot the ball better and score more.

Fordham soon settled down, however, and the tide began to change. Dingle was an overwhelming factor in that, meeting the moment of her first game in the Bronx.

She scored the first points of the season, and with help from teammate junior guard Anna DeWolfe, helped the team retake control of the game in the first quarter, leading by four points at the end of it.

Picked as the preseason conference champions in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the Bobcats responded as expected with a strong run in the second quarter. They forced their way to the lead by outscoring the Rams toward the end of the half. Fordham led by five, 24–19, before the Bobcats went on a run, ending the quarter 14–6. Graduate student Kendall Heremaia and Downey were able to shrink the lead down to five points after a three from each on the other end of the court.

The Bobcats came back and remained dominant in the third quarter. That is, until Fordham went on a run of their own, allowing them to take back the lead. Dingle and Prior led the quick 6–0 run. Downey was able to help out too with multiple crucial three-pointers allowing the Rams to take the lead, 4139. Dingle and Prior lead the team’s scoring for the rest of the quarter, forcing the eight-point lead at the end of the third quarter, 51–45.

The Bobcats tried to take the win back, including a hail mary three point show to tie hte back with seconds left but Downey and DeWolfe made sure that did not happen. However, their fight could only last so long as Quinnipiac was able to come back and score the game-tying shot. 

The Bobcats’ hopes of winning were shattered within the first few minutes of overtime as Dingle got a steal, Prior gained an offensive rebound, and Heremaia secured a layup thereafter. The Rams maintained that momentum, making 12 out of 14 free throws during thecrucial overtime period. 

Dingle’s 40 minute performance allowed her to rank 11th in the most points scored in a single game in program history with 34. Dingle also made an impact on the defensive end, ranking seventh overall with her sixth steals and her 11 made free throws are fifth all-time, followed by her 13 attempts, which are seventh-most attempts overall. She shot 11–17 from the field with six rebounds and three assists for a remakable Fordham debut.

Back for another season, DeWolfe made sure that her presence was felt on the court as well. The reigning A-10 Co-player of the Year had 17 points despite struggling at just 6–18 from the field, a career-high five steals and four assists. Another returner, Downey also made sure to stand out with a 14 point, 10 rebound double-double. Prior, who was also in her first game for the Rams, had 10 rebounds, nine of which were on the offensive side, granting Fordham extra opportunities to score. She finished with seven points, two steals and a block, showing her strength as a team player. Overall, the team had 15 steals, tied for 8th all time in a single game in program history.

Ccoach Gaitley voiced her jubilation following this result. She said, “Super proud of this team with a hard-fought win over a really good Quinnipiac team that is picked to win the MAAC. GREAT team win!” 

Looking ahead, Fordham’s next game is set to take place against Seton Hal University on Saturday, October 13 at 11:30 a.m. in South Orange, N.J.