Fordham Defeats Massachusetts, 56-54, on Last Second Shot from Tapio
Jan. 28, 2012
Amherst, Mass. - On the bus heading to the Mullins Center to face Massachusetts on Saturday, junior guard Ranait Griff, handed out some inspirational pamphlets to help motivate the team, and it seemed to work as an Emily Tapiolayup with 0:02 left catapulted Fordham to a 56-54 win.
Despite having no Classics majors on the women's basketball team, Fordham did its best impression of Sisyphus, the Greek king who pushed the rock up the hill only to have it fall back to the bottom, in the first half. Every time UMass would pull ahead, the Rams would get close before the Minutewomen extended their lead which led Fordham to counter.
UMass took a 7-3 lead on a Jasmine Watson layup at 18:04. Less than 30 seconds later, a bucket from Christina Gaskingot Fordham within two.
The Minutewomen eventually built a 13-8 lead on another Watson hoop at 15:34 but Becky Petersburied a three-pointer to make the score 13-11.
Once again, UMass pushed the lead to seven, 20-13, on a Megan Zullo three at 12:35 but Fordham got within one point, 20-19, on buckets from Tapio, Peters and Charlotte Stoddart.
Massachusetts scored a free throw and a layup to take a 23-21 lead at 6:15, and this time Fordham got to the top of the hill as a baseline jumper from Corning beat the shot clock and evened the game at 23. Corning rattled off six straight points to help Fordham reach the half all square at 25-25.
Both teams came out cold to open the second half as neither team scored in the first three minutes. Fordham got three-pointers from Arielle Collins and Becky Peters at 16:43 and 16:06 and the Rams had the first six points of the half.
The Minutewomen countered immediately, getting the ball inside to Shakia Robinson who made a bucket and a free throw to get UMass within three, 31-28, at 15:47.
Massachusetts fought back to take a 35-33 lead on a three-pointer from Emilie Teuscher and two free throws from Watson but Fordham drew even for the fifth time in the game as Peters found a wide open Abigail Corningfor a jumper from the foul line extended that tied the score at 35-35 with 13:16 remaining.
From there, Fordham used an 8-2 run to take a 43-37 lead, its largest of the game. The scoring spree featured a basket from Taryn Durant, two from Collins and one from Tapio.
With Fordham up 43-37, UMass rattled off six straight points to even the score at 43-all with 6:50 left and then took a four point lead, 47-43, until a Corning three at 4:44 brought the Rams within one, 47-46.
The Minutewomen's Zullo hit a bucket before a Peters' clutch three tied the game at 49 with 3:35 left.
Fordham used the last three minutes to build a 54-49 capped by a Peters foul shot with 0:33 remaining. But after a timeout with 0:09 left, Zullo hit a fade away, three-pointer to tie the game at 54-54.
With the win, the Rams improve to 11-11 overall, 2-5 in the A-10.
Tapio, Collins and Peters all scored 12 points for the Rams and Corning chipped in with 11.
Fordham returns to action on Wednesday, February 1, as they host La Salle for Ram School Day at noon in the Rose Hill Gym.
Notes: Fordham outrebounded UMass, 34-29, marking the 15th time this season the Rams outrebounded its opponents...The Rams defeated UMass for the second straight year and trail in the all-time series, 21-11...Becky Peters made her 100th career start ...Emily Tapio scored a career-high 12 points...Coach Gaitley recorded her 475th career victory.