Fordham Women’s Basketball Struggles at Notre Dame

The Rams could not overcome the Fighting Irish’s efficient shooting



The Rams struggled to keep up with Notre Dame’s high-powered offense.


The Fordham women’s basketball team lost its first game of the season on Thursday, Nov. 18, against the University of Notre Dame (UND) Fighting Irish, 71-56. The Rams fell behind Notre Dame early and never made up ground in a 15-point defeat. 

From the moment that the referee blew the starting whistle, last game’s leading scorer, Kendell Heremaia, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’23, claimed possession of the ball and scored two points for Fordham on a jumper. One minute later, Asiah Dingle, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’22, made two free throws after drawing a personal foul. Fordham’s four-point run in the first minute and a half would be the largest lead that the Rams had against Notre Dame. 

Notre Dame found a majority of its success on layups, as Dara Mabrey, UND ’22, scored 13 of the team’s 23 points in the paint in the first quarter. The Rams worked to keep up with Notre Dame but Fordham players’ inability to score clean shots hurt their chances at turning this game in their favor. 

Notre Dame dominated the court with its offensive strength, outwitting Fordham’s skillful defensive plays.

At the start of the second quarter, Fordham felt even more pressure due to Notre Dame’s confidence in shooting and ball-handling. A series of free throws and layups ultimately led Notre Dame to sustain a minimum 12-point lead for the rest of the game. 

Anna DeWolfe, FCRH ’23, briefly came to Fordham’s rescue and made a three-point jump shot to make the score 25-12, Notre Dame. The second quarter ended on a miss by DeWolfe, but Fordham proved their offensive cooperation skills as Matilda Flood, FCRH ’24, saved DeWolfe’s missed shot and returned the ball back to DeWolfe to repeat her jumper. With two seconds left, DeWolfe made the shot and concluded the first half of the game as Fordham trailed. 

Starting the third quarter down 42-28, Dingle transitioned off a fast break to shorten Notre Dame’s lead with a successful layup. Two minutes later, Maddy Westbeld, UND ’24, scored two points but DeWolfe immediately created an opportunity to make another successful jumper. 

Notre Dame dominated the court with its offensive strength, outwitting Fordham’s skillful defensive plays. The Fighting Irish played aggressively to combat the Rams, as Sonia Citron, UND ’25, stole the ball from Fordham and skated her way down the court to make a layup free from Fordham’s defense. DeWolfe and Dingle knew the outcome of the game heavily relied on them at this point. The quarter ended with Notre Dame ahead by 14 points as the pair brought Fordham to 40.

With only one quarter remaining, the Rams started by scoring seven points in the first three minutes as Notre Dame struggled to contain Fordham’s strength. Kaitlyn Downey, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill ’22, scored five of those seven points. But as the Rams’ offense flourished, their defense struggled to contain the Fighting Irish’s scorers. Maddy Westbeld, UND ’24, shut down Fordham’s born-again confidence and responded with five points in the same span, leaving the score 59-47. 

The 12-point gap that Notre Dame had over the Rams seemed insurmountable. Fordham’s usually thoughtful playing ability devolved into an overwhelming number of fouls that would give the Fighting Irish six chances for free throw shots.

Downey outperformed herself this quarter as she gave her team 13 points, bringing Fordham to 56. But that was not enough to combat the number of free throws that Notre Dame had been given this quarter, leading to a win for the team in South Bend.