After a week without a game, Fordham’s women’s basketball team fell to the University of Rhode Island in a conference matchup Sunday afternoon in Kingston, Rhode Island.
In the first and only matchup between these two teams, it was the Rams from New England that would take the all-important Atlantic 10 win.
Rhode Island jumped out to an early lead, gaining a 17-9 advantage in the first seven minutes of the game, led by 13 points from junior forward Samantha Tabakman.
Fordham quickly responded with an 8-0 run of its own to tie the game at 17 midway through the first half. Freshman G’mrice Davis contributed five of the eight points in the run, helping the Bronx Rams stay in the contest.
“[G’mrice] was our only bright spot off the bench [on Sunday],” said head coach Stephanie Gaitley. “She’s done that on a few occasions, so hopefully she can become more of a producer down the stretch.”
Fordham would then take over the game for a stretch in the first, grabbing a seven point lead of its own with just over three minutes remaining until half. But, Rhode Island would not let the game get out of hand, cutting Fordham’s lead to 32-28 at the break.
Rhode Island came out of the half on fire, scoring the first eight points and putting the road team down four not even two minutes into the second. The game would remain close, with Rhode Island maintaining a three to five point lead for the first nine minutes of the second half. It was at the 11 minute mark that URI would take over the game.
Fordham’s deficit stretched to 10, as it could not overcome turnovers and solid Rhode Island offense. The Rams of URI continually stretched their lead, gaining up to an 18 point lead with a minute left. The final buzzer went off as Rhode Island took the 71-56 win.
“We just weren’t focused,” Gaitley said. “We had the lead at halftime, but we just haven’t done a terrific job of putting two halves together. That’s something that we need to figure out real quickly as we hit the final stretch.”
URI’s Tabakman led all scorers with 22 points, while junior Samantha Clark had 16 to lead Fordham in scoring. Fordham’s 21 turnovers to Rhode Island’s 12 proved to be too much to overcome, as Fordham dropped to 17-8 overall, 9-3 in A-10 play.
Fordham’s next game is Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. when it hosts Dayton in a critical A-10 matchup. Dayton sits in second at 10-2 in conference, while the Rams are tied for third with Duquesne.
“It’s not that we have to play a perfect game [against Dayton],” Gaitley said. “But we have to play a hell of a lot better than we did against Rhode Island. We need to learn to put together a 40 minute game. There’s no way you can beat the top teams in your conference with a 20 to 24 minute game. It doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, but you certainly have to play a much more complete game to beat one of the top teams.”
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