Fordham Women’s Basketball Dominates Seton Hall

In an uptempo, talent-filled contest, Fordham emerged victorious



Seton Hall University entered the season with promise, but Fordham stole the show in South Orange on Tuesday night.


The Fordham women’s basketball team visited South Orange, New Jersey, to face off against Seton Hall University (SHU) in an eventful game that showcased two competitive and offensively-minded teams. But it was Fordham’s determination and mindful playing that carried the team to an 82-63 win. 

Fordham started off the game with great intensity, as Kaitlyn Downey, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’22, headed straight for a three-point shot just 10 seconds after receiving possession from the jump ball, but the shot was missed. Asiah Dingle, FCRH ’22, standing at just 5’4, managed to out-reach SHU as she caught the offensive rebound. But Dingle missed the layup and SHU took advantage of the opportunity. Lauren Park-Lane, SHU ’23, secured a rebound then made a layup, giving Seton Hall the first point of the game within the first minute. 

The level of competitiveness on the court would foreshadow the rest of the game as both teams took turns leading. Especially notable was Kendell Heremaia, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’23, who made a three-point basket 20 seconds later. Heremaia’s efforts gave Fordham seven points in the first quarter of the game. 

Heremaia shone as Fordham’s lead scorer, giving the Rams 17 out of the 42 points they had so far into the game.

In the first few minutes of the first quarter, Sidney Cooks, SHU ’22, maintained Seton Hall’s four-point lead by being consistent with successful layups, but a jump shot by Anna DeWolfe, FCRH ’23, evened out the score 7-7. 

In the second quarter, Heremaia shone as Fordham’s lead scorer, giving the Rams 17 out of the 42 points they had so far into the game. This left Seton hall trailing behind Fordham by 13 points. 

Park-Lane, Cooks and Andra Espinoza-Hunter, Seton Hall Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ’23, combined scored 16 points for Seton Hall. Although their efforts were strong, the Rams’ ability to capture offensive rebounds and their almost 50% field goal percentage contributed to a 26 point increase in the second quarter for Fordham. 

Midway through the second quarter, Fordham was trailing Seton Hall for two minutes as both teams took turns missing shots. Four failed shot attempts later, Dingle broke the streak with a single free throw shot and brought Fordham 21-21 with Seton Hall. A turnover forced by Heremaia led to a made three-point shot, putting the Rams in the lead, where they would remain for the rest of the game.

Cooks’ strong efforts ensured that Fordham’s lead against the Pirates would not make it to the double digits. With help from Espinoza-Hunter, the score inched to 34-26 Seton Hall with three minutes left in the second quarter. But Fordham gave the Pirates a surprising run, as the Rams scored eight points in the final 180 seconds. The quarter finished with Fordham leading 42-29. 

The halftime break proved to do the Pirates some good, as in the third quarter, the Pirates scored 23 points in comparison to the Rams’ 16 points. Seton Hall’s leading scorers — Park-Lane, Cooks, and Espinoza-Hunter — found luck within the paint to keep the Pirates in the game. 

Heremaia spent the game battling head-to-head with Cooks, who finished the game with a total of 21 points.

Both teams finished off the quarter with scores in the 50s. Although Fordham was leading by six points thanks to strong offensive skills, as Seton Hall had shown in the previous quarters, the Pirates still had a chance to sway the game in their favor. 

Fordham’s 19-point lead was created in the fourth quarter. Seton Hall missed a majority of its shots and only had four opportunities for three-pointers. But the win was not totally due to the Pirates’ offensive skills declining. Rather, it was due to four successful three-point baskets made by Heremaia, nine field goals and Dingle’s free throw shots. The first field goal was a shot made by Matilda Flood, FCRH ’24, right at the start of the fourth quarter. The rest of the field goal points made were from Dingle and DeWolfe, who found luck both inside the paint and with jumpers. 

Heremaia showed that she spent her offseason training, as she came close to exceeding her game-high of 29 points against Richmond on Feb. 16, 2020. Almost a year later, in just the second game of the season, Heremaia had revisited her single-game high for points scored. Heremaia spent the game battling head-to-head with Cooks, who finished the game with a total of 21 points. But Heremaia emerged from the contest victorious, scoring her 1000th career point in the process. 

“This schedule really presents many challenges and we are going to attack it one game at a time.” Stephanie Gaitley, women’s basketball head coach

The Rams’ first two games of the season have shown that they have multiple star athletes who contribute to the team. Head Coach Stephanie Gaitley noted her star-filled team and the challenging schedule they have ahead of them. 

“This is a special team. Someone different can step up every game. I’m super happy for Kendell (Heremaia) having a terrific game and scoring her 1,000th point in a great road win against a really good Seton Hall team,” Gaitley commented after the game. “This schedule really presents many challenges and we are going to attack it one game at a time.”

The Rams’ win against Seton Hall proved their potential for an incredibly successful season, as the NCAA voted in the Big East’s preseason coaches’ poll that Seton Hall would finish third — especially considering the Pirates’ major win at the Big East Championship against Butler, 83-57, on March 7, 2020. (A close game against DePaul, 80-93, only three games away from the final championship ended Seton Hall’s 2020 season, however.) This is the Pirates’ second consecutive year being placed third; their 14 wins and seven losses last season earned them their vote this year. 

The Fordham women’s basketball team’s next game will be at Notre Dame on Nov. 18. Notre Dame will be Fordham’s most difficult game yet, as the Fighting Irish have upstaged all their previous competitors.