~~Fordham’s  Women Hoopsters Win 11th Straight

Howard Goldin

Bronx, NY---The second phase of the current college basketball has recently begun, the schedule of conference games. The start of each season is the playing of games by teams that rarely face one another. Although the results of these contests count toward the won/lost record for the season, it is the conference results that qualify teams for the concluding phase, the post-season tournaments.

As the snow was falling, the wind increasing and the temperature plummeting in the Bronx on Thursday night, the Fordham Rams (12-2, 1-0) and St. Louis Billikens ( 5-9, 0-1) women’s teams were preparing to play their first Atlantic-10 conference game of the 2013-14 sesaon at the Rose Hill Gym on Fordham’s Bronx campus.

After scoring six straight points, Fordham led, 13-4, after five minutes of play. At the mid-point of the half, Fordham amassed its first double figure advantage, 22-11. Seven unanswered points by the Billikens cut the deficit to a basket, 30-28, at 2:17. The Rams responded by scoring the next 10 points and led at the half by 40-28. Erin Rooney, Fordham’s star player and captain for the three years she has been on the team, paced the club with 11 points and seven boards.

Fordham’s head coach, Stephanie Gaitley, gave her view of the first half and her intentions for the second, “It’s a game of runs. We have to change some things.”

The defense of the Rams improved in the second half. Although their shooting from the floor fell off from its 52% of the opening stanza, their lead increased as the game went on. A three by freshman Hannah Missry at 6:20 pushed the Fordham advantage to above 20, 63-41. The Rams led by as high as 27, and won by a score of 74-52.

Rooney achieved her fifth double-double of the year with 21 points and 12 rebounds. She explained her increased scoring this season, “I try to be more aggressive.”

The Chrisrtchurch, New Zealand native had the rare experience of having her mother and father in the crowd watching her perform, “It’s really special to have them here. They haven’t seen me play in person for five years except for our trip [Fordham team’s visit to New Zealand in the summer of 2013].”

The victory became an important part of team history. The 11th consecutive win and 12-2 mark to start the season are team records. The Rams are now undefeated in their first eight home games.

The Rams next play a road game at UMass on January 5 and return to the Bronx to host Duquesne on the evening of January 8.