Women's Basketball Clinches Berth in A-10 Championship with 64-61 Overtime Win versus Saint Louis
Feb. 26, 2012
Bronx, N.Y. - There were a myriad of storylines dripping out of the Rose Hill Gym on Sunday, as Fordham faced off and ultimately defeated Saint Louis, 64-61, in overtime, on the heels of a clutch layup from senior Becky Peters, who was honored before the game in a Senior Day ceremony. Peters, the lone senior on the team, drove through traffic and gave Fordham the lead with a layup with 20 seconds left in overtime and then made her free throws down the stretch to help the Rams secure the win.
Meanwhile, nearly 500 miles away in Cincinnati, Ohio, Massachusetts was taking on Xavier at the same time as the Fordham-Saint Louis game. For the Rams to have a chance of making the postseason, the Musketeers had to defeat the Minutewomen. In the end, UMass fell, dropping the Minutewomen into a 12th place tie with the Rams in the standings, but Fordham advances to the Atlantic 10 Championship due to a win over Massachusetts earlier this season, the first tie-breaker scenario.
The game opened with Fordham jumping out to a quick 9-3 lead after Peters buried a three-pointer at 14:06. Saint Louis got the deficit down to six points, 14-8, when Jenna Mueller made a jumper with 9:36 left.
Fordham got the lead to as many as eleven points in the first half, when Arielle Collins buzzed through traffic and found Charlotte Stoddart for the layup. Collins later hit a trey with 0:14 left in the half to propel Fordham to a 31-21 halftime advantage.
The Rams opened the second stanza pushing the lead to a game-high 18, with a 10-2 run over the first 4:18 of the half. The ten points came from a layup from Abigail Corning, a Peters three, two more foul shots from Corning and a trifecta from Stoddart.
The Billikens refused to back down, using a 15-5 run over the next 8:19 to close the deficit to eight, 46-38, when Mallory Eggert made a layup with 6:59 remaining. The final seven minutes of action saw the Rams make just three baskets, the last from Peters that put the Rams up seven, 53-46, with 1:51 left. But Saint Louis ran off seven points, evening the score on a Janisha Gearlds layup with 0:05 left, forcing the game into overtime.
Saint Louis took its first lead of the game on a Lorreal Jones layup at 3:51 in overtime but Fordham tied the score on a pair of foul shots from Peters. The Billikens answered with four straight points on a layup and two free throws from Desirae Ball to take a 59-55 lead with 2:23 left.
The Rams trailed by four again with 1:41 remaining when Stoddart connected on a three-pointer to pull Fordham to with in one, 61-60, with 1:20.
Emily Tapio rebounded a Saint Louis miss with 45 seconds remaining and the Rams called a time out. Fordham ran a play for Peters out of the timeout, and she drove through traffic for a running layup to give the Rams a 62-61 lead. She then buried two clutch foul shots with 16 seconds left to seal the win and the post season berth. Peters scored a game-high 20 points for the Rams while Collins finished with 15, Stoddart added 12 and Tapio came off the bench to net ten.
The Rams finished the regular season with a 12-17 record, including a 3-11 conference mark.
The win secures the #12 seed for Fordham in the upcoming Atlantic 10 Championship, which begins Friday, March 2, at Hagan Arena on the campus of Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. The Rams will face the Hawks, the #5 seed, at 2:30 PM.
Notes: Peters finished the regular season with 1310 career points...She is just one of seven Rams to reach 1300 career points...She also passed Kristina Bell for career starts (107) and moved above Bell and Theresa Hrubash for games played (119)...Emily Tapio reached double-figures in scoring for the third time this season...Fordham won its first overtime game of the year and are 1-2 in extra time on the season.