Women’s Basketball Takes Talents Abroad

The+women%E2%80%99s+basketball+team+has+gotten+an+early+start+in+2013%2C+traveling+abroad+to+play+ball+in+Australia.+%28Courtesy+of+Fordham+Sports%29
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Women’s Basketball Takes Talents Abroad

The women’s basketball team has gotten an early start in 2013, traveling abroad to play ball in Australia. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)

The women’s basketball team has gotten an early start in 2013, traveling abroad to play ball in Australia. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)

The women’s basketball team has gotten an early start in 2013, traveling abroad to play ball in Australia. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)

The women’s basketball team has gotten an early start in 2013, traveling abroad to play ball in Australia. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)

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The women’s basketball team has gotten an early start in 2013, traveling abroad to play ball in Australia. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)

The women’s basketball team has gotten an early start in 2013, traveling abroad to play ball in Australia. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)

By JENNIFER KHEDAROO
Sports Co-Editor
Published: September 9, 2013

Arriving in Melbourne, Australia on Aug. 16, the Fordham women’s basketball team embarked on a two-week trip as a part of their foreign tour of 2013. The tour consists of international competition between the Rams and teams from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. On Aug. 17 and 18, the team opened up competition when they played their only two games in Australia for the first leg of the trip. The first game, versus the Geelong Supercats, was a double overtime thriller which resulted in a last-second Fordham win, 55-53. The next day, however, Fordham’s offense plummeted as they played the stacked Melbourne Boomers, losing by a score of 69-38.

The Geelong Supercats are a semi-professional team playing for the Southeast Australian Basketball League in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. The Supercats were the first to score, and even though Fordham managed to gain a 3-2 lead by the first minute mark, the Rams quickly lost control of the first quarter. By the end of the first, the Supercats had put on an offensive run, leading 17-10 over the Rams.

The Rams’ first quarter woes did not last for long though, with the start of the second quarter bringing new energy into the team. Two upperclassmen in particular led the team to a 31-28 lead into halftime. Abigail Corning, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’14, and Erin Rooney, FCRH ’14, both scored double digits in order to put Fordham ahead. Corning contributed 12 points to a 17-4 Fordham run. Rooney put Fordham on the board with a three pointer in the first quarter and throughout the first two quarters, Rooney put up  11 points.

Following a challenging third quarter, the Supercats found themselves back on top, just edging the Rams 42-41 going into the fourth. After a successful free throw to start the quarter, the Supercats lead expanded to two, but Corning and Rooney launched right back into action. Corning made back-to-back baskets with assists from Rooney, and the Rams went on a 6-0 run to regain the lead. The Supercats answered with their own  8-0 run, putting themselves up by four and eventually ending the quarter with 53 points. But Corning and Rooney managed to combine for another three two-pointers in order to tie the game up at 53-53. Head Coach Stephanie Gaitley openly praised Corning and Rooney following the game. “They stepped up. They’re obviously our veterans.  They took the open shots, they played hard and they left it out there,” she told Fordham Sports following the game.

The teams then played a double overtime. The overtime period length was two minutes, and the first overtime was kept scoreless. The second overtime was going to remain scoreless yet again until the Supercats lost possession of the ball with just ten seconds left to play. Samantha Clark, FCRH ’16, was able to score a layup with just five seconds left after effectively catching a quick pass by Corning. Clark was thrilled at the prospects of the new team for the 2013-14 season. “It was our first game as new team and you could tell everyone was a little nervous. Each player of the team did something to contribute to the win as well as a learning experience for us all,” Clark wrote on the Fordham Women’s Basketball Foreign Tour 2013 blog after the game.

The following day, the team moved north from Geelong to Melbourne to play the Melbourne Boomers. The Melbourne Boomers are a professional team that play for the Women’s National Basketball League. Like the Supercats, the Boomers scored first in the contest, and quickly dominated the Rams. Within the opening four minutes, the Boomers had already scored 14 points while Fordham were yet to put any numbers up on the board. Eventually, Emily Tapio, FCRH ’15, made a layup with just three and a half minutes left in the first quarter. Following Tapio’s layup, Saturday’s heroes, Corning and Rooney, came alive as Corning shot a three-pointer and Rooney a two. Unfortunately for the Rams, by the end of the first quarter, the team was down by 12, with the Boomers leading 19-7.

The second quarter stayed hot for the Boomers while the Rams’ offense remained ice cold. The Rams were able to only score eight points, two of them coming from a pair of Corning free throws. The first half ended with the Rams trailing the Boomers 34-15, and the second half continued much the same way. The team managed few spectacular plays other than a pair of three pointers by Hannah Missry, FCRH ’17, and Brianna Jordan, FCRH ’15.

In the end, the college team just could not compete with the professional team. Since the Melbourne Boomers are the Rams’ toughest competition on their schedule, every game from now should be much smoother sailing for Fordham. Although the foreign tour focuses mainly on international competition, Coach Gaitley notes that the basketball team will continue on from last year with helping people learn more about the sport and health. She also hopes to gain more international interest and followers for Fordham. “We will host a clinic in each country so we can spread the ‘Fordham name’ all over the world,” Gaitley wrote in the August newsletter of Coach’s Corner with Stephanie V. Gaitley.

The next stop on the Rams’ foreign tour is New Zealand, where the team will play one game and host a clinic before moving on to Fiji.