Stephanie Gaitley Nets 150th Fordham Win, 68-49, over Columbia on Tuesday Night
Bronx, N.Y. – The Fordham women's basketball team secured head coach Stephanie Gaitley's 150th career victory in the Bronx with a wire-to-wire 19-point victory over Columbia on Tuesday night, kickstarted by a 27-11 first-quarter run. With the win, the Rams improve to 6-5 on the season, while the Lions fall to 2-8 overall. "It was great to see us put together one of our most complete defensive efforts against a talented Columbia team," Gaitley said, "We need to build on this as we hit the stretch run before conference play!" Fordham never trailed in the contest, taking its first lead on its first offensive possession, a Kaitlyn Downey layup off a nice feed by Kendell Heremaiaunder the basket, and led by as much as 24 points in the rout. The Rams shot a season-high 53.8% from the floor and tied its second-best mark with 15 assists, committing just 10 turnovers, while winning the battle of the boards, 33-26. Columbia tied the game up just once, with a Janiya Clemmons jumper following Downey's layup, but Mary Goulding's three-pointer seconds later proved to be all the hosts needed on the night. Fordham started the contest on a 10-2 run and led by the same margin, 16-8, at the first media timeout. Out of the break, the Rams finished the quarter with a 11-3 run over the ensuing three-plus minutes. Fordham shot a blistering 70.6% from the floor in the period (12-of-17), including a 9-of-10 mark from inside the perimeter. A sluggish second quarter, in which both teams shot 5-of-12 from the floor, saw Fordham take a 38-23 lead into the break. At that point, the Rams had 24 points in the paint and 17 points off eight Columbia turnovers. The hosts had tallied nine assists to just four turnovers. Fordham was again hot to begin the second half, shooting 8-of-12 from the floor (66.7%) with a 2-of-3 mark from downtown and 3-of-4 makes from the charity stripe, outscoring the Lions, 25-15, in the frame. Senior Lauren Holden got hot from the field, sinking all four of her efforts, including two triples. Columbia chipped away and got the deficit to 15, 61-46, early in the period but Fordham didn't allow it to dip further, seeing out the game with four unanswered points over the final two minutes. Bre Cavanaugh led the way for the Rams, sharing a game-high with 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and 6-of-8 from the line. The redshirt sophomore has converted 13-of-25 chances the past two games and added four rebounds, three steals, two assists, and a block on the night. Seniors Goulding and Holden combined for 26 points, Downey re-entered the starting lineup and put up seven points, five rebounds, and two assists, and Heremaia led the squad with four dimes. Zara Jillings chipped in six points, a team-high eight rebounds, and three assists off the bench, with Megan Jonassen (four points and five boards) and Katie McLoughlin (two points) contributing off the pine, as well. The win was the team's first when holding an opponent under 50 points. Under Coach Gaitley, the Rams have a 57-5 win when an opponent doesn't eclipse 50 points. Fordham has 10 days off before traveling to local rival Iona next Friday, December 21st, for a noon tip-off. That game will be streamed live on ESPN3.