Fordham Downs Xavier, Moves to 4-0 in League Play
Jan. 23, 2013
CINCINNATI - Not having beaten Xavier in 17 tries, the Rams knew they would have to rely on their lockdown defense to beat the Musketeers at home. Coach Gaitley's squad did just that, holding their opponent to more than 20 points below their season average for the second straight game, topping Xavier 48-41 in the Cintas Center.
With the win, Fordham continues its best conference start as a member of the A-10, pushing to 4-0 in league play, 14-5 overall. The Rams also extended their best winning streak in two decades, locking up their seventh straight victory. With the loss, Xavier fell to 6-12, 0-4 in the league.
After shooting their lowest percentage from the floor since November against Richmond, the Rams appeared to have worked the kinks out early, taking a 10-4 lead just under four minutes into the contest. Fordham converted on its first four attempts from the floor, as Erin Rooney paced the way with five and Marah Strickland converted on an and-one in the game's first five minutes.
The Rams struggled to find the bottom of the bucket for a stretch, going over eight minutes without a basket as Xavier went on a 14-0 run to pull ahead, 18-10, at the 8:33 mark of the half.
From there, it was Fordham's turn to uncork a run, as four points from Strickland anchored a 6-0 Fordham run to pull within two, 18-16, with 2:43 to go until the break.
Two Xavier buckets extended the Musketeer lead to six before an impressive Arielle Collins off-balance shot banked in at the buzzer, sending the Rams into the locker room facing a 22-18 deficit.
Strickland led all Fordham scorers with seven in the first half.
After Briana Glover opened up the scoring for Xavier on the first possession of the second half, the Rams rattled off a 9-2 run to take the lead, 27-26, just under four minutes into the period. Samantha Clark scored four points for the Rams during the run.
Xavier took the lead, 31-29, on two Glover free throws with just over 11 minutes to go, but Clark answered back with a 15-footer to tie the game at 31 with 9:52 left in the half. Rooney put the Rams back on top, 33-31, with a layup just over two minutes later and extended the lead to three with a free throw with 6:50 left.
After Xavier tied the game at 33 on two Amber Gray free throws, the Rams responded. Rooney sank a trio of tries from the charity stripe and Collins swiped a steal at half court at took it to the rack for an uncontested layup, putting the Rams ahead 38-33 with 5:14 left in the game.
Xavier narrowed the lead to three, but Rooney answered back making a ten foot floater to put the Rams back up five with three and a half to go. Rooney extended the Fordham lead again with a layup, putting the Rams up 42-35 with just over two minutes to go.
The Musketeers answered back with two free throws from Gray to narrow the lead to five, 42-37, but Charlotte Stoddart responded in a big way with her first points of the game to put the Rams back ahead by seven, 44-37, with 1:05 to go.
The Musketeers began to foul from there and the Rams closed out perfectly, with Abigail Corning and Rooney sinking four attempts from the charity stripe, allowing Fordham to leave Cincinnati with a 48-41 victory.
Rooney led all Fordham scorers with 16 points and Strickland chipped in 11. Despite scoring just four points, Corning still managed to fill up a stat sheet, pulling down a game-high 11 boards. Clark nearly tallied her third double-double of the year with nine points and eight boards, while Collins played what was arguably her best defensive game of the year with four steals.