Women’s Basketball Splits Pair of Critical Conference Games


Downey clinched the game and set a program record with her 127th game started against St. Joseph’s. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

After stumbling at George Washington University with a 63-57 loss, Fordham women’s hoops has quietly hit the reset button with three wins in their last four games. Fordham’s second-half rout of a Duquesne team, that is third in Atlantic 10 (A-10) rebounding, was an impressive showing that resulted in a 83-62 win over the Dukes. The win gave the Rams a 4-1 in-conference record, but a two-game split against the University of Massachusetts (UMass) and St. Joseph’s University has moved them to a 5-2 A-10 record in telling fashion. A 66-57 home loss to UMass illustrated the team’s ability to play more than one brand of basketball while a 71-65 road victory over St. Joe’s was a prime example of what these Rams can do when they’re firing on all cylinders.

Last Wednesday’s match against the UMass Minutewomen was anything but consistent. The Rose Hill Gym played host to a gutsy defensive game that ultimately turned into an offensive shootout. Neither team shot above 30% from the field in the first half. The Rams trailed by 22-20 at the end of the initial 20 minutes of play, but showed good defensive awareness. They out-rebounded the Minutewomen and also tallied seven steals. The third quarter featured a touch more scoring, but UMass outplayed Fordham in the period. The Minutewomen put up a 46.67 FG% in the period, but only led by seven points at the end of the third quarter. The final 10 minutes changed the entire complexion of the game as both teams were able to break out offensively. Each squad shot over 50% from the field in the frame, and while Fordham held the period’s best general shooting percentage, UMass proved to be too much. They were helped all game by the play of graduate forward Sam Breen and junior guard Ber’Nyah Mayo. Mayo led the Minutemen with 18 total points, but Breen may have had the more influential game. She tallied 10 points along with a team-high of 15 rebounds. The Rams got a spectacular performance from Anna DeWolfe, who led the team in scoring with a 33-point barrage that included seven made three-point shots. Asiah Dingle also poured in 18 points, but was rather inefficient. The Boston native struggled to consistently connect, and went 1-8 from three-point range. Outside of Dingle and DeWolfe, Fordham only scored a combined six points. UMass had seven players score five points or more while Fordham only got scoring from four women on the roster. By the time the game broke out, UMass had already established better ball movement while getting more contributions from their bench on both ends of the court.

In many ways, last Sunday’s 71-65 road win over St. Joseph’s was a correction of what went wrong the previous Wednesday against UMass. Fordham was hot from the opening tip, and outscored the Hawks 27-12 in the first quarter of action on the strength of five three-pointers and an impressive 68.8 field goal percentage. St. Joe’s eventually battled back in the third quarter, out-scoring the Rams 25-11 in the frame. Talya Brugler played a pivotal role for the Hawks over the course of the contest. She led the team with 20 points and nine feisty rebounds. However, the Rams were able to weather the storm thanks to their quick start and strong finish. Kaityln Downey made a critical three-pointer in what was her 127th start in maroon. The shot gave Fordham a six-point lead with 25 seconds remaining in regulation. Overall, the graduate student finished with nine points, six rebounds and a steal. The Bronx’s best also received a critical showing from Asiah Dingle, who tallied 21 points, six rebounds, three assists and four steals. Anna DeWolfe continued what was an impressive personal week with 18 points, two assists and two boards.

Women’s hoops will look to keep climbing the A-10 ladder this week as they get set for another pair of pivotal games. They’ll host the University of Richmond Spiders at home on Wednesday night, and hit the road for a showdown with St. Louis University Billikens the following Saturday.