The Fordham Ram

Women’s Basketball Beat Davidson, win Sixth Straight Game

Following+their+win+at+St.+Bonaventure%2C+Women%E2%80%99s+Basketball+moves+to+second+in+the+Atlantic+10+standings.++%28Courtesy+of+The+Fordham+Ram%29
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Women’s Basketball Beat Davidson, win Sixth Straight Game

Following their win at St. Bonaventure, Women’s Basketball moves to second in the Atlantic 10 standings.  (Courtesy of The Fordham Ram)

Following their win at St. Bonaventure, Women’s Basketball moves to second in the Atlantic 10 standings. (Courtesy of The Fordham Ram)

Following their win at St. Bonaventure, Women’s Basketball moves to second in the Atlantic 10 standings. (Courtesy of The Fordham Ram)

Following their win at St. Bonaventure, Women’s Basketball moves to second in the Atlantic 10 standings. (Courtesy of The Fordham Ram)


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By Jack McLoone

A pair of dominant performances over the past week pushed the Fordham women’s basketball team’s winning streak to six in a row. The Rams are now 19-8 overall, with a 10-3 record in Atlantic 10 play. After taking care of business on a mid-week road trip against Davidson, the Rams traveled to Olean, N.Y. to take on the St. Bonaventure Bonnies, where they won 53-44. The Rams are now second in the A-10, behind just Virginia Commonwealth University (20-6, 12-1 in-conference).

“I think the most important and impressive part of this streak has been our attention to detail on defense,” said head coach Stephanie Gaitley. “We finally have them understanding that offense is icing on the cake, but defense is the cake.”

That defense was a big focus in this matchup right from the start.

The first half between the Rams and the Bonnies was a tight, back-and-forth affair. In the first quarter, neither team had a lead larger than four, which the Rams reached twice. Halfway through the quarter, sophomore guard Bre Cavanaugh hit a jumper to put the Rams up 10-6; senior forward Mary Goulding hit a free throw with 1:52 left to put the Rams up 16-12.

The Bonnies took a 6-5 lead with 6:22 left in the first, but lost it on the Rams’ next possession when Goulding hit a three. While they never led again in the quarter, the Bonnies continued to apply pressure on both sides of the ball.

That pressure reached its peak in the second quarter, but the Rams matched it. Both teams made just three field goals in the second quarter, with the Bonnies coming out on top 7-6 thanks to making one more three. There were 10 turnovers in that quarter alone, five by each side. The game went to halftime tied at 23.

However, the tight contest did not carry over into the start of the second half. The Bonnies opened the half with a bucket, but over the next six minutes, the Rams went on a 12-2 run, including three threes, one apiece from Goulding, sophomore guard Kendell Heremaia and senior guard Lauren Holden. After Goulding’s three gave them a one-point lead, 26-25, the Rams never trailed again.

“The message in the locker room was just to stay focused on defense and rebounding, and offense would take care of itself,” said Gaitley.

The Rams made just three shots in a quarter for the second time in the game in the fourth, but this time they spent plenty of time on the free throw line. They hit nine of 12 free throws in the final frame, including seven out of eight in the final 33 seconds.

This has been a dominant streak for Fordham, with the nine-point win just its second single-digit victory of the streak. The Rams’ previous win over Davidson on Wednesday was their biggest, topping the Wildcats by 16, 58-42, after losing to them by four at home on Jan. 27.

Goulding continued her recent shooting hot streak, making over 50 percent of her field goal attempts for the third time in four games. She led the game in scoring with 14 points and had a team-high seven rebounds.

While the Rams have been succeeding in spite of her efficiency struggles, Cavanaugh’s shooting, which she had appeared to fix against George Mason last week, seems to have taken another dive. After topping 40 percent from the field for just the 10th time against the Patriots on Feb. 10, and for just the second time in 2019, she shot just 20 percent on Saturday. She managed to score 13 points, thanks to making eight of her 10 free throws. The Rams have obviously been successful up to this point, but one has to wonder just how much better this team could be if their top scoring threat was playing up to last year’s marks. She’s just 0.7 points off her per-game average, but she is 1.7 percentage points worse from the field, including a disastrous 28.2 percent from three.

Cavanaugh has found other ways to contribute; however, already having more assists and rebounds now than she did all of last season. She had three of each on Saturday.

The Rams will play their final two home games of the season next week, starting on Sunday, Feb. 24 against the University of Massachusetts at 2 p.m. The final regular season home game for seniors Goulding and Holden will be on Wednesday, Feb. 27 against Dayton. The Rams are currently in shape to skip the campus site portion of the A-10 Championships, as the top two teams in the conference get byes.

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Women’s Basketball Beat Davidson, win Sixth Straight Game