Fordham Women’s B-Ball Continues Victory Streak in Showdown of the Rams



Anna DeWolfe, FCRH ’23, led the Fordham Rams to another win by putting up 27 of their 64 points.


In a Rams vs. Rams battle, the Fordham women’s basketball team held on to defeat the University of Rhode Island (URI) Friday afternoon, 64-58. Anna DeWolfe, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’23, put up another impressive showing with 27 points and led the team to extend its win streak to four games.

Head coach Stephanie Gaitley said, “When you win during COVID, it’s two victories: first being able to play the game and then actually winning the game. Winning on the road in conference is tough.”

Going into the matchup, both teams were in a strong position: Fordham had won its last three games, holding fifth place in the Atlantic 10 (A10) conference, while URI had won its previous two and held sixth place. Prior to the game, Fordham had won 11 of the last 12 matches between the two teams and held a slim lead overall, 20-19.

With momentum on their side early on, the Fordham Rams put on a strong show in the first half. URI scored the first points of the game, but Katie McLoughlin, FCRH ’21, quickly returned the favor with a three-pointer. Following another basket from Rhode Island, top scorer DeWolfe went on a four-point run that Kendell Heremaia, FCRH ’21, continued with another three-point shot.

Fordham looked incredibly strong at the half with a score of 40-24 on the board.

Fordham’s scoring streak broke when URI returned Heremaia’s basket with a three-pointer of its own. The two teams went back and forth for the remainder of the quarter, but Fordham maintained its lead with more scores by DeWolfe and Heremaia, closing out the quarter in front, 18-10.

The Fordham Rams had a sloppy start to the second quarter, allowing two baskets from the URI Rams early on. They could not score for two minutes, but DeWolfe ended the drought with an eight-point run, forcing a timeout from the opposing bench. The break in play did nothing to stop Fordham, as Heremaia and Kaitlyn Downey, FCRH ’22, scored five more points before URI was able to get back on the board with a free throw.

Downey followed with a three-pointer, and URI responded in kind. Heremaia downed another three-point shot and was again followed by another by URI and yet another from Downey. At this point in the game, Fordham had scored almost twice as many points as the opposing Rams, but with seconds left in the half, URI made a three-point basket as the buzzer sounded.

Fordham looked incredibly strong at the half with a score of 40-24 on the board. Both DeWolfe and Heremaia put up impressive performances, with DeWolfe scoring 17 points and Heremaia sinking three of five shots from beyond the three-point line.

URI’s buzzer-beater proved important going into the second half as the team carried on with a strong five-point run to start the third quarter. Fordham finally managed to respond nearly four minutes in with Heremaia’s fourth three-pointer of the game and a basket from DeWolfe. However, the team was then shut down again as URI went on another run, only broken by a free throw from Maranda Nyborg, FCRH ’24.

Rhode Island kept Fordham from scoring for almost the rest of the quarter, only allowing free throws and a single three-pointer, all from DeWolfe. URI chipped away at Fordham’s lead and again had the final basket of the quarter, to bring the game within 12 points, 53-41.

With yet another hot start to the final quarter, the URI Rams forced a Fordham timeout following a five-point run in which they closed Fordham’s lead down to single digits. After three quarters without a single shot from the field, Megan Jonassen, FCRH ’22, appeared out of nowhere with two mid-range jumpers that put Fordham back out of reach. The two teams bounced back and forth until a seven-point run from Rhode Island closed the gap to six points with a minute left on the clock.

In a nail-biting finish, DeWolfe was fouled and made one free throw. URI called a timeout and emerged with a three-pointer, bringing the game within four points. The URI Rams stopped the clock again by fouling Jonassen and calling another timeout immediately following her two successful free throws. With 10 seconds left on the clock, Rhode Island desperately tried to make a shot, but Fordham’s airtight defense shut the opposing Rams down until time ran out. The Fordham Rams reigned victorious, 64-58.

“When you win during COVID, it’s two victories: first being able to play the game and then actually winning the game.” Stephanie Gaitley, Fordham women’s basketball head coach

Fordham’s finish was impressive on a number of fronts, despite the team’s somewhat lackluster second half. DeWolfe ended another stunning performance with a total of 27 points, shooting an impressive four-for-six from beyond the three-point line. Heremaia matched her in three-pointers, and both she and Downey nearly achieved double-doubles, Heremaia with 16 points and nine rebounds and Downey with eight points and nine rebounds.

However, the team’s difficulty with turnovers persists. The Fordham Rams allowed their opponents to score 16 points off of rebounds while Rhode Island allowed only six. They also had quite a bit of difficulty in the transition periods between each quarter, but once they hit their stride, their skill as a cohesive unit became readily apparent.

Gaitley recapped, “Great scoring by Kendell and Anna. Meg hit some clutch jump shots down the stretch. Need to clean up a few things but overall great job!”

Fordham will attempt to extend its winning streak to five against the University of Massachusetts Minutewomen on Sunday, a team that Rhode Island beat by a single point in a surprise victory earlier this week. Following its Jan. 8 performance, Fordham now improves to a 3-1 record in the A10 conference and looks to ride this win into another triumph in what is turning out to be a promising season for the Rams.