Sports Women’s Basketball 3-0 in A-10 For First Time Ever January 14, 2013
FROM WOMEN BACK PAGE
Fordham did just that in its 5956 win at Charlotte, which was 11-3 and at the top of the conference on Jan. 13. The Rams held tight early in the first half, never falling behind by much and answering all of the 49ers’ baskets with scores of their own. A 9-0 Charlotte run late in the half, however, put the 49ers up 2620 with a little more than two minutes left until halftime. Fordham continued the trend of answering the 49ers’ attempts to pull away, scoring five straight of their own until a pair of free throws by junior guard Ny Hammonds gave Charlotte a 28-25 lead heading into the half. Erin Rooney came alive for the Rams in the second half. Rooney scored 17 of her game-high 19 points in the second half. The game looked to be in doubt, until a 9-2 Fordham run in which Rooney scored five points tied the game at 53 with just three and a half minutes remaining. After trading baskets and free throws, Fordham found itself down one until Corning hit a clutch jumper to give the Rams a 57-56 lead with 46 seconds left. The defense then took over and forced a miss, which led to Charlotte fouling Rooney and her adding two free throws to the lead making it 59-56, which is where it would stay. The game was a historic one for the Rams. It marked the first time since 1998 that Fordham won its Atlantic 10 opener, and it also marked the first-ever win for Fordham over Charlotte. Fordham continued its winning streak at home against UMass on Jan. 16, securing its first ever 2-0
ALLY WHITE/THE RAM
Erin Rooney scored 38 total points in Fordham’s victories over Charlotte and UMass, but was held to only four points in the Rams’ win over Richmond.
start in the conference in a 69-57 win. In a game that was never very much in doubt, Rooney scored 19 for the second straight game, including nine consecutive points in the second half. The lead grew to as much as 16 but ended up being a 12-point win for the Rams. In its most recent contest, Fordham put its undefeated conference record on the line against Richmond and came up victorious again, continuing its historic start
with a 47-40 win at the Rose Hill Gym. The story of the day was senior Marah Strickland who scored her 1,000th point in the game on a free throw that closed the contest out in the final minute of the game. Strickland had quite the game, scoring 20 points and grabbing five rebounds to help Fordham get the win. Fordham’s defense also had a strong showing against Richmond. The Rams held the Spiders to 24
points below their season scoring average in what was one of their best defensive efforts of the season. Coach Gaitley commented on the team’s tremendous conference start. “It’s a collective effort to be honest,” Gaitley said. “On any given day someone will have to step up. Yesterday, Erin [Rooney] didn’t shoot well, so Marah [Strickland] picked it up. And Ace [Arielle Collins] made big free throws down
the stretch. Our bench is a little thin because of injury, so different people have to step up and kids are being asked to do more. To be honest, I think the credit goes all the way down, one through 14.” Fordham, which currently sits at 13-5 (3-0 in conference), is lookging to make it four straight wins in the conference and seven straight overall on Jan. 23 when they travel to Ohio to take on Xavier.
Men’s Basketball 1-2 in Conference as A-10 Play Heats Up FROM MEN BACK PAGE
MICHAEL HAYES/THE RAM
Branden Frazier has played well since assuming the point guard duties. He has two double-digit assist games this year.
comfort in the fact that Fordham was able to make it a tight game after being down so big so early, Pecora has called his team “cocky,” according to the New York Post. “I think we shouldn’t be happy with the idea of playing close games,” Pecora said. “That’s something a mature team doesn’t do. We need to jump on teams early and not take any possessions off.” Fordham certainly showed some of its maturity in the loss to Charlotte, despite the team’s youth, which features only one junior and two seniors. For a game in which senior Chris Gaston scored only three points on 1-of12 shooting, younger members of the Rams stepped up to keep the team in it, including freshman guard Mandell Thomas, who chipped in with 13 points. “I think that game shows that the young guys have developed,” Pecora said. “Anytime we can play in a close game where [Gaston] shoots like that shows you that we have some depth on this team, even if we are young.” It is not clear whether or not Gaston has fully recovered from the knee surgery he underwent on
Nov. 16, which kept him out until the Princeton game. Although Pecora confirmed that there is no swelling of the knee and for the most part the operation was a success, Gaston appears to still be hampered by the injury. On Jan. 17, the senior tweeted, “Not playing at 100% people need to understand I’m not gonna be perfect every night! Don’t be mad at the kid with one leg!” Still, Pecora and the team are taking Gaston’s complaints seriously. “Anytime somebody complains about their body you have to take it seriously,” Pecora said. Gaston’s bad game in Charlotte was a rarity for the senior who has been a top player for the Rams since he came to Rose Hill. His conference play got off to a stellar start, as he posted a double-double against Duquesne (18 points, 10 rebounds) on 9-of-12 shooting. He was also a catalyst for the Rams’ near-comeback against the Minutemen, scoring 20 points to go along with 13 rebounds. It should be interesting to see how the senior’s knee holds up when Fordham tries to collect its second conference win against Dayton on Jan. 23.