Women's Basketball's Season Ends at Syracuse
yracuse, N.Y. – The Fordham women's basketball team's historic 2018-19 campaign has come to a close, falling in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at #12/14 Syracuse, 70-49, on Saturday afternoon. The Rams finish the year with a 25-9 overall record, tied for the third-most victories in school history, their second-ever Atlantic 10 championship, and a share of their first-ever regular season title. They will also finish the year with their best-ever finish nationally in scoring defense (54.4 points allowed per game). Fordham led, 15-14, after the first quarter, using a 12-6 run over the final eight minutes of the frame to take a one-point lead, despite Syracuse's TianaMangakahia hitting a buzzer-beating jumpshot to get within one at the end of the period. Gabrielle Cooper started the scoring with a trey but Bre Cavanaughanswered on the other end to the joy of the traveling Fordham crowd. Digna Strautmane put the hosts back up with a triple of her own and Amaya Finklea-Guity made it six with a lay-up. From that point, the Rams' defense buckled down and held the Orange to just one Finklea-Guity lay-up over the next seven minutes. Kaitlyn Downey knocked down a three, her first of three, to get within two and, after a three-minute period of scoreless ball, Cavanaugh stripped Mangakahia at midcourt and dished it to Mary Goulding for an easy lay-in to tie the game up. Finklea-Guity answered on the other end but again the visitors were quick in response. Downey knotted the game back up with a lay-up on a nice feed from Goulding and Lauren Holden's first points of the game put the Rams ahead for the first time, coming off an offensive rebound by the senior guard. With under a minute to play, Mangakahia scored four points to keep within one for her team, stripping Holden in the open court and laying up and then knocking down the last-second jumper. Between the makes, Downey drained a midrange jumper to push Fordham up to 15 points, leading the way with a team-high seven points. Syracuse wasted no time retaking the lead in the second quarter as Cooper's three pushed the Orange ahead by two on the first possession. The Orange's run climbed to 13 unanswered until Kendell Heremaia found Downey open under the basket for a lay-up. Syracuse upped its lead to 17, 38-21, with two minutes to play in the half but back-to-back three-pointers from Cavanaugh and Holden brought the deficit back down to 11 heading into the break. In the third, Fordham kept the Orange to a single-digit margin with timely three-point makes, first by Holden and then Heremaia, before Goulding grabbed an offensive board and put it back up and in to cut it to eight, 47-39. Holden's three moved her past Denise Hammersley ('95) for third-most all-time in program history. Another three by Downey got the Rams within seven but the Orange tacked on a couple points over the final two minutes with a pair of free throws, although Fordham won the third, 15-13. Syracuse surged ahead to close the game out with a 19-7 fourth quarter. The Rams outrebounded the Orange, 39-37, including an 11-7 margin on the offensive glass, but were outshot, 43.3% to 28.6%. Syracuse hit 9-of-14 three-point attempts in the game, as well, with a perfect 7-of-7 mark in the second and fourth quarters. Freshman Kaitlyn Downey led the way with 15 points, one shy of her season-high, on 6-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-6 from behind the arc, with five rebounds, a team-high two steals, and an assist over 36 minutes. Bre Cavanaugh and Lauren Holden each scored nine points, the latter on 3-of-11 long-range shooting and the former on 2-of-6 from deep and 3-of-4 from the line, with eight rebounds and three assists. Holden also shared a team-high with three dimes, as did Mary Goulding. Goulding hauled in a game-high 12 rebounds, five offensive, to go with eight points, three assists, and two blocks, matching her career-high. Kendell Heremaia chipped in six points and five rebounds, while Catherine Polisano added a pair of late free throws off the bench. Lauren Holden finishes her Fordham career as the school's all-time minutes played leader, with 4,492, ahead of former teammate and current Director of Player Development Samantha Clark by 336. She currently ranks 17th all-time with 1,141 career points, third with 213 threes, and fourth with a career 85.3% conversion rate at the charity stripe. Mary Goulding finishes her career in maroon and white with 749 career points (8.3 per game) over 90 appearances, 66 starts, with 524 rebounds and 179 assists. Her 276 rebounds during her senior season rank eighth-most in a single campaign in school history. She led the Rams in every category besides scoring, threes, and free throws this year. Bre Cavanaugh wraps up her sophomore campaign with 1,159 career points, 14th-most all-time, and the eighth-most free throws, with 260. She remains ninth all-time with 140 career threes, as well. Her 581 points this year are the eighth-most in a single season, while her 74 threes rank fifth. Through two seasons, she is tied with Hall of Famer Sharon Nast for third with a 17.2 career scoring average. The loss snaps a 12-game win streak, tied for longest all-time with the 2013-14 title-winning team. This year's squad set a new school record with nine straight conference wins and broke the record for three-pointers made, with 267.