Women's Basketball Strives For Five Straight Wins at Pacific on Friday
Nov. 23, 2012
Stockton, Calif. - For just the third time in team history, the Fordham women's basketball team is 4-0 to open the season, joining the 1974-75 and 1995-96 teams. The Rams will strive for 5-0 for just the second time ever on Friday, but the team will have their work cut out for them. The showdown will be a battle of undeafeated teams, as Fordham faces the University of the Pacific, who is also 4-0 this season.
The 1974-75 Rams, under then first-year head coach Kathy Mosolino, was the only squad in the previous 42 seasons of Fordham women's basketball to reach the 5-0 mark. Fordham will also be going for a 4-0 mark on the road, which has never happened in team history. Fordham will have to put plenty of work to reach those goals, as Pacific brings in a solid offensive attack that has scored over 70 points in three of the first four games this season, and is looking for its own 5-0 start for teh first time since 1980-81.
SERIES HISTORY: This is the first ever meeting between Fordham and the University of the Pacific.
SCOUTING PACIFIC: The Tigers, who returned all five starters from a year ago, are 4-0 this season, following its Big West Conference opening win over Santa Clara, 72-45, on Tuesday. The Tigers have a balanced scoring attack, averaging 69.8 points per game with six players averaging six points over better this season.
The Tigers are coached by Lynne Roberts, who is 73-112 in seven seasons at Pacific. On the floor, Kendall Kenyon leads the Pacific attack at 13.5 points and 8.0 rebounds, while Gena Johnson is also averaging in double figures at 10.3 points to go with 6.5 rebounds and a team-high 17 assists. Erica McKenzie is the Tigers' top perimeter shooter, connecting on 10-of-25 from three-point range.
FANTASTIC STARTS: The 2012-13 season couldn't have started better for the Fordham Rams, as the team sits at 4-0 for just the third time in team history, joining the 1974-75 and 1995-96 teams in that category.
The keys thus far this season have been a relentless team defense scheme, and the ability to hit key free throws down the stretch to seal games. Fordham currently sits second in the Atlantic 10, allowing just 44.8 points this season, and has yet to allowed 30 points in a half this season. The team also ranks fourth in the league in free throw percentage at 79% with six players shooting 70% or better.
TAKING CHARITY: In this holiday season, the Rams have taken advantage of charitable acts by opposing teams in the form of trips to the free throw line. Fordham has been lethal this year, shooting 79.4% from the charity stripe at 50-for-63, while hitting over 82% in three of the four contests.
Fordham has six players connecting at 70% or better from the line, led by Marah Strickland at 92.9% (13-14) and Erin Rooney at 87.5% (14-16), who are rank sixth and ninth respectively in the Atlantic 10.
PAYING DIVIDENDS: Though they were on last year's roster, Erin Rooney and Marah Strickland couldn't wait to finally hit the floor in 2012-13, after missing all of last season. The tandem has paid immediate dividends for the Rams in the team's first 4-0 start in 17 years. Both players are averaging over 13 points a contest, which both rank in the top 20 in the Atlantic 10, while scoring in double figures in each game they have played in. The duo is also among the top 10 in the conference in free throw shooting with Strickland at 92.9% and Rooney at 87.5%.
WHO'S NEXT: Fordham returns home for a match-up with Manhattan College on Wednesday, November 28th, at 7:00 PM. The Rams then return to the road for games at Marquette (Dec. 1) and Yale (Dec. 4), before starting a five-game homestand on December 8th against Stony Brook.