Women's Basketball Prepping for Three Games at this Weekend's Gulf Coast Showcase


Bronx, N.Y. – The Fordham women's basketball team (2-2) snapped a two-game skid with a 71-64 come-from-behind win over Charlotte on Sunday. Now the Rams must turn their attention to this weekend's Gulf Coast Showcase where they will play three games over three days down in Florida. First up is Ball State (1-2) on Friday morning at 11 a.m. Depending on the result, Fordham will then play either RV/RV Duke (2-1) or Washington (2-1) on Saturday. Ways to Follow Along All three games will be streamed online at GulfCoastShowcase.com. Individual games will cost a $9.95 fee, while the entire tournament carries a $24.95 fee. Fans can listen along with the call on WFUV, however, for free. All links are above. Last Time Out The Rams bounced back from a tough loss to Penn State in midweek with an impressive comeback win over Charlotte on Sunday, outscoring the 49ers, 42-28, in the second half. The visitors raced out to an 11-point lead, 15-4, by the 4:34 mark of the first quarter but the hosts regrouped to get within five, 20-15, by the end of the period. The Rams didn't take long to tie things up, with a Bre Cavanaugh triple on the team's first possession and a Lauren Holden layup following a pair of offensive boards, and the two teams traded blows for the next several minutes. Charlotte finished strong, though, with a 7-0 run to lead by that margin, 36-29, at the half. Fordham came out of the interval looking rejuvenated and held the 49ers without a point for the second half's first six minutes. The Rams scored 11 unanswered points during that time to take a four-point lead with each of the five starters scoring the first nine points. The 49ers were able to tie things up and took the lead, 44-42, heading into the final 10 minutes but the Rams' Kiwi contingent went off to give the hosts the win. Kendell Heremaia and Zara Jillings combined for five points to take the lead for good before Goulding went into action with her personal scoring barrage, adding two blocks and a steal during it, too. Fordham hit 10-of-14 attempts in the period (71.4%) and all eight free throws down the stretch. Cavanaugh led the way with her second 20-point effort of the season followed by Goulding's 16-point, 12-rebound double-double. Heremaia notched a career-high 14 points, while Holden and Jillings each chipped in seven points. Megan Jonassen came off the bench for three points and a season-high six rebounds, four coming on the offensive glass. Series History vs. Ball State The two schools have never met. Holding Onto the Rock The Rams turned the ball over just six times against Charlotte on Sunday, the lowest number since Coach Gaitley's 600th career victory last January 25th against St. Bonaventure, when they had just 10. It's also the first single-digit turnover game since the Rams had eight against Dayton last January 17th and the first time with six or less since the team committed six against Iona last December 9th. Kiwis Coming Through Fordham's Kiwi contingent of Mary Goulding, Kendell Heremaia, and Zara Jillings combined for 37 points against Charlotte, including 22 in the fourth quarter alone out of the team's 29 points. Jillings hit a three-pointer in the corner then fed Heremaia for a layup to retake the lead for good and Goulding then scored 12 points the rest of the way, all from the field, to secure the victory. Goulding is averaging a double-double on the year (13 points, 10 rebounds), and Heremaia, over her four starts, is third on the team with a 9.8 points per game average, setting two new career-highs along the way, and is shooting a blistering 55.2% on 29 attempts from the field and 53.8% from downtown (7-of-13). Jillings leads the bench in scoring with 3.8 points per game and is shooting 42.9% from the field. Three Games in Three Days This weekend's Gulf Coast Showcase features three games in three days, a tough ask for any team. The last time the Rams have done that, they won the 2014 Atlantic 10 championship, winning three times in three days to secure its lone conference title. You'd have to go back to the pre-Gaitley days for the last instance in the regular season, under Cathy Andruzzi in 2010 at the Kansas Classic in Lawrence, where the Rams fell in all three games but took RV/RV Kansas to overtime. It's also the eighth time since 1979 the program has played three days straight. Crashing the Offensive Glass Last year, nearly one-third of the Rams' 1,268 total rebounds came on the offensive glass (408). Fordham lost leading rebounder G'mrice Davis and freshman Johanna Klug in the offseason but the Rams haven't missed a beat thus far in 2018-19, hauling in just under 40% of their total boards on the offensive glass (64-of-161 - 39.7%). Four different Rams already have double-digit offensive boards. Mary Goulding has an even 20-20 split on both ends of the floor, Kaitlyn Downey has 11 offensive boards out of 25, Bre Cavanaugh has 10-of-30 on the offensive end, and Megan Jonassen has 10-of-16 off the bench. 11 different Rams have tallied at least one offensive board this year and eight have at least two. Fordham started the year with either 41 or 42 rebounds in the first three games, and between 14 and 19 offensive rebounds in each, and grabbed 15-of-36 on the offensive glass against Charlotte. Shooting Woes After opening the season by shooting 43.3% from the field and 40.9% from behind the arc against Wagner, the Rams have struggled with their shot in four of the six halves since. At Northeastern, Fordham hit just 20-of-70 attempts (28.6%), including 4-of-27 from three-point territory (14.8%). The Rams shot under 30% just once all of last year, against nationally-ranked UCLA (19.6%) and would've done it again against Penn State (31.4%) if not for a scorching-hot start to the contest, with the team hitting 10-of-20 attempts from the field. The Fordham offense hit just 5-of-15 shots in the first quarter against Charlotte and 6-of-21 (28.6%) in the second quarter, but rebounded with an impressive 16-of-29 performance in the second half, featuring a 10-of-14 shooting performance over the final 10 minutes (71.4%) to finish the game at 41.5%. The Rams continued to struggle from deep, though, hitting just 4-of-21 attempts (19.0%). Heremaia's Career Night Sophomore Kendell Heremaia has started all four games thus far this year. The New Zealand international made a statement on opening night against Wagner, delivering an efficient and career-high 13 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists, matching and setting her career-highs, respectively. Heremaia outdid herself with 14 points against Charlotte with a personal-best six field goals on Sunday. She made seven starts in 33 appearances as a freshman last year. For A Good Cause Fordham attempted 27 free throws from the charity stripe in the season-opening win over Wagner, the most since an 85-72 win over Davidson two seasons ago. The Rams last year tied the program record for free-throw percentage, hitting 76.9% of their attempts, and are at 71.9% through four games this year. Bre Cavanaugh leads the team with 24 free-throw attempts, sinking 19 of them for a 79.2% average, with Kaitlyn Downey (8-of-12) and Lauren Holden (7-of-8) behind her. Cavanaugh ranks 58th in the country in makes and 80th in attempts thus far. Holden Ascending the All-Time Ranks Having played the ninth-most minutes in Fordham history, it's no surprise to see Lauren Holden's name already in the record book. The Cape May, N.J. native's lone three against Wagner broke a tie for seventh all-time with Becky Peters ('12), while her 84.0% career rate from the free-throw line sits in a tie for sixth with Lisa Carrol ('07). She is also on pace to become the 21st member of the program's 1,000-point club, currently at 860, as well as enter the top-five for games played and stated, currently at 102 and 87, respectively. Five Fordham Debuts Five Rams made their collegiate debuts on Friday night against Wagner. Kaitlyn Downey got the start and scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the floor and 4-of-7 from the line across 19 minutes to go with five boards, an assist, and a steal. Redshirt freshman Vilisi Tavui scored four points with a pair of steals in 10 minutes off the bench and was joined by true freshmen Chloe Chaffin, Megan Jonassen, and Catherine Polisano. Polisano hit a first-quarter three for her lone points of the game, Jonassen scored two points and hauled in a pair of offensive rebounds, and Chaffin grabbed three boards and made one of her two freebies. There were five debuts a year ago, as well, the most since 2011. Gaitle