Women’s Basketball Continues To Show Imperfect Promise


The Rams split two this past week against Richmond and St. Louis. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

There are times over the course of a season that forces teams to calmly hit the reset button and seek improvement. Fordham women’s hoops may be in such a spot after splitting their most recent two games against the University of Richmond Spiders and the Saint Louis University Billikens.

A 68-59 comeback victory at home against the Spiders featured a Fordham team that was able to come back after a sluggish start. Their 87-84 road loss to the Billikens saw a similarly bleak opening and strong revival, but did not conclude with a joyous victory.

Last Wednesday’s affair against the Spiders began poorly. Fordham shot only 34.3% from the field in the first half, and trailed 29-24 at the end of the first 20 minutes. Things improved for Fordham in the third quarter, but they were still outscored in the frame by a Richmond squad that boasts the Atlantic 10’s third best team shooting percentage. The Spiders received particularly solid outings from Katie Hill and Maggie Doogan. Hill posted a team-high 12 points and 11 rebounds. Meanwhile, Doogan supplied 10 points, nine rebounds and a team-high four assists. Regardless of how effective the Spiders were for three quarters, Fordham came storming back in the fourth quarter, and outscored the opposition 30-14 in the frame. 

Seniors Anna DeWolfe and Sarah Karpell and graduate student Jada Dapaa were all key to the maroon wave, and played their best down the stretch. Each was critical to the defensive effort, and helped deploy a full-court press that limited Richmond’s ability to move up the court. DeWolfe excelled with team-highs of 24 points and four assists as well as four rebounds and two steals. The Maine native struggled from three-point range, but made up for it with seven makes from the charity stripe in nine attempts. Dapaa was similarly effective. The graduate forward recorded 11 points and a team-high 11 rebounds, while Dingle added 17 points and a team best eight steals.

After the Rams’ win over the Spiders, they traveled to St. Louis for a Saturday night showdown with the Billikens that followed a similar pattern. While not a particularly prolific shooting team, St. Louis was red-hot from the opening tip. The Billikens outscored Fordham 29-17 in the first quarter and held a 49-38 lead at halftime thanks to key play in the paint. The Midwestern home team scored 24 points in the paint over the initial 20 minutes and only attempted five shots from distance over the same time frame. Kyla McMakin led the attack, providing 33 points. The women in maroon eventually battled back with a 31-point third quarter, and led by four at the end of the frame. DeWolfe, Dingle and graduate student Kaitlyn Downey were all integral to the surge. All told, Dingle scored a team-high 22 points, while DeWolfe and Downey tallied 21 and 16, respectively. Downey had one of her most diverse games this season as she also added five assists and eight boards. The fourth quarter was a frantic scene. The Rams were outscored 22-15 in the period, and while they had a chance to win on a last second shot, it was clear they ran out of steam after a brilliant showing in the prior 10 minutes. 

Women’s hoops has proven they can either start fast or come back at the drop of a hat, but it is not yet known if they can put together a consistent effort for 40 minutes against A-10 competition. The split moves Fordham to a 6-3 conference record highlighted by extremes. They’ll look to find a happy medium this Wednesday night at St. Bonaventure before returning home for a Saturday afternoon meeting with Loyola Chicago.