The home environment in Bronx brings out the best in the Fordham University women’s basketball squad. The 71-52 victory of the Rams (21-7, 10-5) over the George Mason Patriots (7-21, 1-13) ended the regular season home schedule of the Rams with their achieving 14 wins in 15 games.
For the Patriots, the 2013-14 season, its first as a member of the Atlantic-10 Conference, has been exceptionally lengthy. They have lost all but one of their conference contests and 19 of their last 21 games.
A basket by Sandra Ngoie, 42 seconds into the game, gave the visitors their first and only advantage of the contest. The Rams netted the next nine points to lead by seven at 16:28. A three by freshman Hannah Missry at 7:50 capped another run of nine unanswered points to raise the Fordham lead to 15 (23-8). Fordham scored the final 11 points of the half to take its largest lead of the game, 38-18.
Fordham was as dominant on the court as the score shows. They sunk half of their field goal attempts (16 of 32) while their able defense held the Patriots to 29.6 percent (8 of 27) shooting from the floor. Erin Rooney, Fordham’s top scorer, was the only player to reach double figures with 13 points.
The second half featured a series of alternating scoring runs. Fordham began the half with four points. George Mason followed with eight unanswered points. A 12-3 run by Fordham resulted in its largest lead of the contest, 24 points (54-30). An 18-6 run by the Patriots cut the deficit to its lowest level in the second half, 12 points (60-48). Fordham closed the contest by scoring 11 of the final 15 points to conclude the game with a 71-52 win.
The Patriots adjusted well to an unfamiliar site, the Rose Hill Gym, in the second half. Their shooting percentage climbed to 57.7 percent (15 for 26) while that of the Rams declined to 39.3 percent (11 for 28).
Two factors were crucial in the Rams’ maintaining their lead. In the second half, they controlled the boards, 18-10. They were especially effective on the offensive end with eight rebounds to one for the visitors, which led to 13 second chance points to only two for the Patriots.
Another critical difference between the two teams was success in accuracy from beyond the arc. Fordham sunk four 3’s in each half, but the Patriots were unsuccessful in their seven attempts.
Rooney was the only player with double digit scoring in the second half and ended the contest with 24 points and an impressive nine assists. She needs only three points to reach 1,000 in her two seasons at Fordham. Emily Tapio scored 16, her sixth straight game in double figures. Samantha Clark was one point short of achieving a double-double (10 rebounds and 9 points).
The Rams travel to Philadelphia on March 2 to face St. Joe’s in their final regular season contest.