Women's Basketball Travels To Cornell For Sunday Afternoon Match-Up
Nov. 11, 2012
Ithaca, N.Y. - The Fordham women's basketball team will search for its first 2-0 start in a decade, as the Rams travel to Ithaca, New York for a match-up with the Cornell Big Red. The last time the Rams began 2-0 was in the 2002-03, while the last time Fordham began 2-0 on the road came in 2004-05.
Ironically, in both cases an Ivy League team was involved in one of those games, as it was Brown falling to the Rams in the 2002-03 and Dartmouth in the 2004-05 season.
SERIES HISTORY: This will be just the third all-time meeting between Fordham and Cornell, with the series tied at one. Cornell won last year's meeting, 40-39, at the Rose Hill Gym, while Fordham won the first-ever meeting back in 1987.
SCOUTING CORNELL: The Big Red were 12-16 last season and are out to a 1-0 record this season, after defeating Colgate on Friday. The Big Red is coached by Dayna Smith, who is in her 11th season at the helm with a career record of 98-176.
Cornell returns nine letterwinners and four starters from a year ago. In the team's opener, four players finished in double figures, as Clare FItzpatrick netted a game-high 19 points, while Allyson DiMagno had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Shelby Lyman and Spencer also had 13 points a piece.
LAST TIME OUT: Former college coach Al McGuire once said, "There's nothing better than winning on the road." The Fordham women's basketball team had that feeling and then some on Friday night at the SEFCU Arena in Albany, New York. Four Rams finished in double figures to lead Fordham to a 60-43 victory over the Albany Great Danes, the defending America East champion and an NCAA tournament team from a year ago.
The win marks the first time since 2009 that Fordham opened the season with a victory. That season the win also came at the expense of the Great Danes, as Fordham improved to 3-1 all-time against Albany.
After a couple of quick baskets by Albany opened the game, Fordham kicked into gear, taking a 7-6 lead on a pull-up jumper by Charlotte Stoddart. The Rams extended the lead to 15-6 on three-pointers from Arielle Collins and Stoddart, as the Rams outscored the Great Danes, 12-0, over a seven-minute stretch.
The Rams would hold Albany without a basket for over eight minutes before a three-pointer by Sarah Royals made it 17-9 in favor of Fordham. Fordham would hold that lead for the rest of the period, leading, 24-17, at the break.
Defense was the story of the first half, as both squads held the other under 30% shooting from the field, while Fordham forced Albany into 12 turnovers, leading to 11 points on the offensive end. At the break, Collins led Fordham with six points and five rebounds, while Emily Tapio had four points and hauled in six rebounds. Royals was the top scorer for the Great Danes with seven points, while Julie Forster had six points and nine boards.
Fordham came out firing away from three-point range in the second half. Collins and Erin Rooney hit back-to-back three-pointers, giving Fordham its largest lead of the game at 32-17. Fordham maintained that nine to twelve-point lead, getting key three-pointers from Stoddart, Abigail Corning, and Rooney once again to hold off any potential run by Albany.
The Great Danes would only get within nine points for the rest of the contest, as Fordham connected on 10-of-12 free throws over the final five minutes to seal up the 60-43 victory. The Rams would hold Albany to just 29% shooting for the contest, which included 4-for-18 from long range, and had a 21-6 edge in points off turnovers.
Rooney finished with a team-high 15 points to go with four assists and four rebounds in her debut as a Ram, while Collins netted 14 points, hitting 4-of-6 from three-point range. Stoddart and Corning each chipped in 10 points with Tapio adding nine points and a career-high 11 rebounds.
NEW YORK STATE OF MIND: Today's match-up is the second of four games that Fordham will have against fellow Empire State schools. The Rams begin the season with two of these games, taking on Albany (W, 60-43) and Cornell. Fordham will also see Manhattan (Nov. 28) and Stony Brook (Dec. 8) this season.
TURNING UP THE DEFENSE: One of the staples of any Coach Gaitley squad has been a tenacious defense. In her first season at Fordham, Gaitley had the Rams right at the top of the league in scoring defense, giving up just 54.4 points per game, while ranking 30th nationally. With the addition of former NEC Defensive Player of the Year Erin Rooney to this year's squad, the Rams' defense may be even tougher to score against.
In the Rams' opener, Fordham kept its solid defense intact, holding Albany to 29% shooting, 22% on three-point shooting, and forcing the Great Danes into 19 turnovers, which turned into 21 points for Fordham.
WHO'S NEXT: Fordham will return to the Bronx for their home opener on Sunday, November 18th, when Fordham faces Delaware State at 2:00 PM. The Rams will next be on the road on Wednesday, November 21st, as Fordham has its first Jesuit Basketball Spotlight game against the University of San Francisco at 10:00 PM (ET). Fordham remains on the road with a contest against the University of the Pacific following Thanksgiving.