Women’s Basketball Reaches New Heights


Arielle Collins, FCRH ’13, has been a key part of the team’s great season. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)


After a hard-fought battle against the Saint Louis University (SLU) Billikens, Fordham’s women’s basketball team won their 18th game of the season, 61-56. The game, which was played at SLU on Feb. 17, marked the first time Fordham has secured a winning Atlantic 10 conference record in about twenty years.

Arielle Collins, FCRH ’13, has been a key part of the team’s great season. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)
Arielle Collins, FCRH ’13, has been a key part of the team’s great season. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)

For the first 10 minutes of the game, it didn’t seem like Fordham was going to take the lead. The Billikens shot over 60 percent from the floor and even had a 11-2 run to lead 18-9, but the Rams did not give in. Head coach Stephanie Gaitley called a timeout, and seemed to change the game around. The Rams went on a run themselves, scoring 17-3 after the timeout, and putting Fordham ahead by 26-21. Still, the Billikens fought on, and by the end of the first half, the two schools were tied 28-28.

The beginning of the second half was a showcase of Fordham’s talented offense once again as they led SLU 40-30. The Billikens eventually cut their trail to just five points, 48-43, with under four minutes to play. Although Samantha Clark, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’16, hit a 3- pointer to make the game 51-43, the Billikens still gave the Rams a good fight for the remainder of the game. With just a minute left in the game, Fordham’s lead was cut to 55-50, and Saint Louis even pulled to within three points with just 18 seconds left. However, Clark was able to make two free throws and the Rams went on to win.

Clark scored 14 points in Sunday’s game while grabbing eight boards. Arielle Collins, FCRH ’13, ended with 12 points and the pulling down of five boards. Erin Rooney, FCRH ’14, was the top scorer for the Rams. She scored a personal game-high 19 points and grabbed six boards.

Earlier this week, Gaitley visited WFUV, Fordham’s public radio station, to discuss the team’s current state. One issue that she found difficult to control was the situation of the team’s bench. She told the station that since her program was a new one, it was tough to bring in more players but she hopes to eventually do so. Many players on Gaitley’s current team are plagued by illnesses or injuries. For instance, Emily Tapio, FCRH ’15, injured her Achilles tendon right as she was getting ready to come back to the team after an injury. Furthermore, Charlotte Stoddart, FCRH ’13, is suffering from a concussion. “It is what it is. You just kind of smile in the face of diversity and say whatever we have just do the best we can,” Gaitley said. And they have done extremely well. The Rams have only lost two games since Dec. 20.

The Rams’ previous game, on Feb. 13 in the Rose Hill Gym, was one that saw the team make a season record by the end of the first half. The Rams played their conference opponents, the George Washington University Colonials. Firstly, Clark was the first player to score for either team, putting the Rams ahead 2-0 with her own rebound and put back. By a little over two minutes into the game, Fordham was up 6-0, forcing George Washington to take a timeout. The Colonials were able to score two, but the Rams came back with eleven unanswered points. By the end of the first half, Fordham led George Washington University 43-23. The 20-point lead after the first half was a season high.

The Colonials tried to come back in the second half, cutting a 20-point Fordham lead to 13 points. But then Fordham began a 7-0 run, started by Collins who scored her fourth 3-pointer of the game. For the game, Collins had 15 points, while Marah Strickland, a Fordham graduate school student who missed the Billikens game, scored a game-high 16 points. Clark scored 13 points and Abigail Corning, FCRH ’14, scored 14 points. The Rams held off the Colonials, and won the game 66-56.

The Rams are currently 18-7 with four more games left to play in the regular season. The upcoming games are against The University of Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s University St. Bonaventure University, and Temple University. At this time last year, the team was 12-18 overall and lost games to every one of these four schools. But with this year’s team being so driven towards success, there is a good chance that the Rams can win all of these upcoming games.