Women’s Basketball Drops Important Game to Dayton


G'mrice Davis goes up for the tip against Dayton. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

By Jack McLoone

G’mrice Davis goes up for the tip against Dayton. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Women’s Basketball head coach Stephanie Gaitley’s motto is “suffer or celebrate to midnight.” It could not have been easy to stop the suffering at midnight after falling to the Dayton Flyers 79-54. It was the Rams worst loss since losing to #11/12 UCLA 67-30 back on Dec. 20.

The Flyers came into the game undefeated in Atlantic 10 play and showed why, besting Fordham in just about every category. Going on the road against a top team is always hard, but coupled with it being Dayton’s Senior Day, the atmosphere was just too much for the Rams to handle.

Dayton hung 21 on Fordham in the first quarter… and the second quarter… and the third quarter. The fourth quarter could be considered a victory, as the Rams held them to just 16 points.
The Flyers shot almost 52 percent from the field, including 48 percent from the 3-point line. That second number is pretty impressive in its own right, and is even more so when it comes on 12-25 shooting.

With the defense out of sync, the Ram offense never caught up either. They shot just 32 percent from the field and 39 percent from three. Senior G’mrice Davis led the team in scoring with 15 points, but shot just 4-15. Freshman guard Bre Cavanaugh was behind her with 14 points, but went 0-5 from three.

It was simple for Gaitley: The Flyers played aggressive defensively and her Rams were impatient offensively.

The Rams did have one positive take away: freshman guard Kendell Heremia broke out of the slump she had been in for most of the season. She scored 11 points, tying her career-high, which she set the last time she scored double-digits all the way back on Dec. 6 against Penn State.

“Kendell gave us a nice spark off the bench,” said Gaitley. “If we could get the same contributions on the defensive end it would be hard to take her off the court.”

Heremia’s defense has been an issue all season, so much so that Gaitley referred to her as “Kenell,” as she had not earned the “D” in her name.

Even in games where they do not shoot particularly well, the Rams rebounding usually keeps them in games. Not this time, as they were out-rebounded 35-33, just the sixth time all season they failed to out-rebound their opponent.

The Rams had been getting by lately by turning it on late. Gaitley says the Dayton loss reminded her team that will not cut it.

“I think Dayton is a good wake-up call at this time of year,” said Gaitley. “To beat the best teams we can’t play a 25-minute game. We need to play Fordham basketball for 40 minutes to win a championship.”

With just two games left in the regular season, the Rams do not have time to wallow in defeat. This is especially true because their next opponent, Duquesne, is second in the A-10 with a 12-2 conference record. It does not help that that game will be on the road as well. The Rams face off against the Dukes at 7 p.m. on Wednesday Feb. 21.

“Our team has started this journey back in August during the foreign tour,” said Gaitley. “We have worked really hard for the position we are in and will stayed focused on our goals.”