Women's Basketball Closes Out Regular Season with 22nd Win
March 3, 2013
PHILADELPHIA - The annual Flower Show was in Philadelphia this weekend and so was the Fordham women's basketball team, which is appropriate as everything seems to be coming up roses for the Rams, who are enjoying one of their most successful seasons to date, in 2012-2013. And that success continued today as four Rams scored in double figures, led by 15 from Erin Rooney, to help Fordham close out the regular season with a 58-44 Atlantic 10 win over Temple University in McGonigle Hall, snapping a 17-game losing streak to the Owls.
With the win, the Rams finish the regular season with a 22-7 overall record, 12-2 in the Atlantic 10, good for third place in the conference and a first round bye at the A-10 Championship which starts on Friday at Saint Joseph's University. It also is a mammoth improvement on the predictions of the preseason prognosticators, who slotted the Rams for an eleventh place finish.
The 22 wins is the third most in a season for the Rams, the most since the 1978-1979 squad won a school-record 27 games. The 1977-1978 team had the second most wins in a season for a Fordham women's team, finishing the year with 25 victories.
The day was also a noteworthy day for Rooney as the junior guard's 15 points brings her collegiate career total to 1,004. She joins teammate Marah Strickland in netting her 1000th career point for the Rams this year. Rooney netted 586 points in her first two years of college at Monmouth and has 418 so far this year for the Rams.
Joining Rooney in double figures today were Strickland (14), Samantha Clark (11) and Abigail Corning, who netted ten points and grabbed 12 rebounds for her second consecutive double-double and her fourth of the season. Corning also dished out a team-high seven assists, one shy of her career-high.
The Rams held their ninth opponent this year to 45 points or fewer, doing it with a stifling defense that allowed just 17 second half Temple points as the Owls shot just 26.1% (6-23) from the field over the final 20 minutes and just 2-for-16 from behind the arc in the game.
The game started slowly for Fordham, who trailed by three, 12-9, 6:22 into the game before an Arielle Collins three-pointer knotted the game at 12 with 13:21 left in the half. The Collins trifecta started a 10-0 run for the Rams who took a 19-12 lead on a Strickland jumper at the 11:30 mark.
Five straight points from the Owls over the next minute trimmed the Fordham advantage to two, 19-17, but a Corning basket started a 6-2 Fordham spurt as the Rams built the lead up to six, 25-19, on a Collins three, with 8:34 remaining in the half.
Fordham got the lead back to seven on an old fashioned three-point play from Rooney with just under four minutes left in the half but the Owls would score the only points over the final 3:58 of the half to cut the Fordham lead to five at the break, 32-27.
After a Victoria Macaulay layup pulled Temple within three, 32-29, 1:26 into the second half, a Corning three-pointer ignited an 8-2 run for the Rams who took a 40-31 on a Strickland bucket with 16:21 remaining.
Temple managed to shrink the Fordham lead to five, 42-37, over the next 2:27, but the Rams reeled off eight unanswered points, four of those from Rooney, to take a 50-37 lead after a pair of Rooney free throws with 9:30 on the clock.
The Rams were able to maintain a double figure lead the rest of the way, getting it to as many as 15, 56-41 on a Corning jumper at the 3:44 mark en route to the 58-44 victory.
Rooney added seven rebounds to her 15 points while Collins chipped in with eight points for the Rams.
Fordham will open the 2013 Atlantic 10 Championship by facing the winner of the #6 Butler/#11 Saint Louis game on Saturday, March 9, at 7:30 PM at the Michael J. Hagan Arena on the campus of Saint Joseph's University.