Fordham Begins West Coast Swing with 55-48 Win Over USF
Nov. 22, 2012
San Francisco, CA - With double digit scoring from Erin Rooney and Marah Strickland, the Rams had plenty to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Eve, as they defeated the University of San Francisco Dons 55-48 in War Memorial Gym. With the win, Fordham moves to 4-0 on the season for the first time since '95-96 while the loss drops USF to 2-2.
Fordham started out the night cold from the field, hitting only one out of their first ten attempts from the floor. But the Rams defense held tight, forcing six Dons turnovers during the first five minutes of action. After that sixth forced turnover, Strickland converted on a long ball, knotting the score at six.
With the score tied, Fordham ignited. On the back of strong offensive outputs from Strickland and Erin Rooney, the Rams rattled off an 18-4 run to pull ahead 24-10 with just over seven minutes left on the clock.
Strickland stood atop the scoring sheet for Fordham in the first half, registering eight points. Rooney added six and junior tri-captain Abigail Corning continued her streak of impressive all-around performances, netting five points and pulling down six boards in the first half.
USF came out of the locker room firing to start the second. The Dons opened up a 10-0 run, taking the lead 30-28 before a Rooney layup knotted the score once again 30-30 at 16:29 mark. After a Zhane Dikes bucket put the Dons ahead by two, Rooney answered right back once again, draining a three to put the Rams up one, 33-32, with 14:29 left in the half. Buckets from Strickland and Samantha Clark extended the lead for Fordham, and an Arielle Collins trey gave the Rams a 45-39 lead at the second to last media timeout of the game.
The Dons continued to fight, but a three ball from Rooney and an impressive steal and fast break layup from Collins helped maintain the Fordham advantage down the stretch. Perfect trips to the line from Strickland and Collins in the closing minutes sealed the deal for the Rams.
Strickland's game-high 15 included a perfect 8-8 performance from the line, extending her season mark to an impressive 13-14 on freebies. Rooney added 14, including two huge three pointers in the second half. In addition, the New Zealand native added eight boards and two swipes.
Clark put in a stellar effort in the front court for the Rams. The freshman forward netted nine points on 4-6 shooting and pulled down eight boards. Collins, a senior guard, added eight points while grabbing five rebounds and nabbing three steals.
For first time in their four victories this season, the Rams were out-rebounded by an opponent. This is not to say the Rams, who came into the game with a plus 11 differential on the boards, were outworked. Fordham still pulled down 41 boards, 14 of which came off the offensive glass.
The Rams forced 15 turnovers on the night, converting those USF follies into 19 points.
After celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, Fordham will be back in action on Friday when they travel to Stockton, California to take on the University of the Pacific Tigers. Tip off is set for 10 PM ET.