Rams Drop First Contest of The Season 62-40 at Pacific
Nov. 24, 2012
Looking to start off the season 5-0 for the first time in 38 years, the Rams ran into a tough opponent in the Pacific Tigers, a postseason team from just a year ago returning nearly all of its scoring. Despite double digit scoring efforts once again from Erin Rooney and Marah Strickland, the Rams dropped the decision 62-40. With the loss, the Rams move to 4-1, while the Tigers remain unbeaten at 5-0.
Strickland, averaging just a touch under 14 points per game heading into Friday, started off the night on the score sheet for the Rams. The graduate student from Mount Airy, Maryland put Fordham's first six points on the board. A Rooney jumper briefly put the Rams ahead by two before a Shanice Butler bucket knotted the score at 8.
After the two teams traded buckets and Emily Tapio drew a technical foul on Pacific's Gena Johnson with just over ten minutes left in the first half, the Tigers developed a hot hand. Pacific started an 8-0 run in the span of less than two minutes capped off by threes from Ashley Smith and Ashley Wakefield to take a 21-12 advantage with 8:26 left on the clock.
The squads returned to back and forth basketball over the remaining minutes of the half, and the Tigers entered the break with a 32-22 lead on the scoreboard.
Despite struggling from the field, the Rams maintained composure in the face of the Tigers D, surrendering only 6 turnovers in the first half. In the days leading up the game, the coaching staff had stressed maintaining composure and finding the open man in the face of the Tigers stifling defense that had forced over 23 turnovers per game in their first four contests.
Coming out of the intermission, Rooney lowered the deficit to single digits with two free throws 30 seconds into the latter stanza. Pacific widened the lead again following two baskets from Gena Johnson, and Fordham decreased the lead to single digits only once more during the contest after a Tapio jumper with just over 14 minutes left in the second half.
Johnson and Kendall Kenyon poured in nine points apiece during the second half for the Tigers.
Tapio registered her second best scoring performance of the season despite foul trouble. The sophomore from Brewster, NY tallied eight points in only 16 minutes of play.
Rooney, the junior transfer from New Zealand, put up her fifth double digit scoring effort in five tries, backed by a perfect 8-8 performance from the charity stripe. The 2010-2011 NEC Defensive Player of the Year also swiped three steals.
Strickland finished with a game-high 13 points for the Rams.
The Rams will next be in action Wednesday night, returning to the friendly confines of the Rose Hill Gym to take on cross-borough rival Manhattan in the Battle of the Bronx. Game time is set for 7:00pm.