Rams Host St. Joe's on Senior Day
Feb. 23, 2013
BRONX, N.Y. - There will be plenty on the line Sunday when the St. Joe's Hawks visit the Rose Hill Gym to take on Fordham. The Rams will have the opportunity to reach 20 wins for the first time in 19 years, and a win would put Fordham in the driver's seat in its quest to secure a bye in the A-10 tournament.
Sunday's game marks two other special occasions in the Rose Hill Gym. Four Fordham players will be honored in Senior Day ceremonies before the game, as Marah Strickland, Arielle Collins, Charlotte Stoddart and Ranait Griff will suit up for a home game for the second-to-last time.
In addition, the game will benefit the Harry Vanderslice Scholarship Fund, with a portion of proceeds from the game going to the scholarship named after the late Harry Vanderslice, Coach Stephanie Gaitley's father, whose impact as a father and a mentor is still evident everytime Coach Gaitley patrols the sideline.
SERIES HISTORY: As it is with many of Fordham's opponents in the A-10, the series history between the Rams and the Hawks is decidingly one-sided. Saint Joseph's holds a 34-3 all-time advantage against the Rams, but Fordham has shown quite the knack for defying such historical trends this season. The Rams downed Charlotte for the first time in program history, topped Richmond for just the second time, beat Xavier for the first time in 18 tries and emerged victorious over La Salle for just the ninth time in 43 outings.
SCOUTING SAINT JOSEPH'S: After finishing the non-conference season with a 9-5 mark, the Hawks have been on a tear in A-10 play, compiling a 10-1 record in the conference. St. Joe's only loss in conference came to Charlotte on the road (a team that Fordham beat 59-56 to open A-10 play), and the Hawks picked up a big win last week over Duquesne.
On offense, Chatil Van Grinsven leads the Hawks with just a touch under 15 points per game in addition to 10.4 boards per outing, good enough for fifth and third in the league, respectively.
Erin Shields also averages in double digits for the Hawks, putting up 11.4 points per game while registering a 2:1 assist/turnover ratio.
In A-10 games, Saint Joe's leads the conference in scoring defense, allowing just 52.1 points per game, while ranking second in scoring offense, putting up nearly 67 points per contest.
BATTLE FOR THE BYE: Sunday's contest between the Rams and the Hawks has significant implications for seeding in the A-10 tournament. With the first four teams in the standings receiving a bye to the quarterfinals, the fight for fourth place could be a determinant in whether a team falters or prospers in March.
Fordham currently sits at fourth in the A-10 with a 9-2 mark, and a victory on Sunday would put the Rams in the driver's seat. Should they win out and finish with a 12-2 record, the Rams would hold tie-breakers over two other contenders in St. Joe's and Charlotte, guaranteeing a bye in the tournament.
A loss to St. Joseph's would drop the Rams into a likely tie with Duquesne, who is a heavy favorite in its three remaining games. Should Fordham and Duquesne both finish with an 11-3 record, the Dukes would hold the tie-breaker, giving them the bye as a result of their 68-50 victory over the Rams in January.