Fordham Women’s Basketball Defeats Princeton, 76-67

The Rams were pressed by the Tigers for four quarters, leading in a close game in the finish



The Fordham Women’s Basketball team won with a nine-point lead despite a sudden turnaround from Princeton in the last two minutes of the game.


The Fordham women’s basketball team defeated the Princeton University (PU) Tigers 76-67 on Saturday, Dec. 5. Entering this game, the Tigers were 6-1 for the season with their only loss being a 61-53 game against the University of Rhode Island. 

Julia Cunningham, PU ’23, began the first quarter with a strong drive to score a basket for the Tigers. Immediately after, Anna DeWolfe, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’23, mirrored the scoring play. In the next two minutes, DeWolfe scored all five of Fordham’s points.

The Rams and Tigers were two evenly matched teams offensively. But it was Fordham’s defense, especially the multifaceted efforts of Kendell Heremaia, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’23, that kept Princeton from finding successful shots.

Dingle struggled to find an opportunity to either shoot or pass to a teammate as the Rams were hoarded by Tigers.

Princeton had similar offensive tactics to Fordham, as both teams were able to keep an eye on every player on the court, except for Asiah Dingle, FCRH ’22. The only person who always seemed to know Dingle’s location on the court was Heremaia. 

Ellie Mitchell, PU ’24, became inseparable from Heremaia, who was trapped. Debating her next move, Heremaia noticed Dingle in her peripheral vision as Dingle broke free from Princeton’s defense. Heremaia made a backhanded pass to the 5’4” guard, who then scored. Some rough defense by the Tigers sent Dingle to the line. Successfully earning four points in less than 20 seconds, Fordham led 12-7. 

In recent games, Dingle has used her height to her advantage. With less than four minutes remaining in the first, Dingle struggled to find an opportunity to either shoot or pass to a teammate as the Rams were hoarded by Tigers. But Dingle disappeared into the mesh of Rams and Tigers then reemerged with a jump, landing Fordham a layup.

For the final minute of the quarter, Fordham was struggling to find a shot as the seconds on the shot clock dwindled. But Princeton cut the time even shorter with a steal. The Tigers hurried down the court to make a shot in the final 16 seconds. 

Kaitlyn Chen, PU ’24, was guarded by 6’1” Kaitlyn Downey, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill ’22, so Chen was forced to take a jump shot. The quarter ended with Chen’s successful jumper, but Fordham maintained the lead, 23-13.

At the start of the second quarter, the dream team of DeWolfe, Dingle, Heremaia and Downey worked together to keep Princeton away from the basket.

The quarter ended with Princeton behind Fordham, 33-31.

On a key possession in the quarter, the ball rotated to each Ram, but it was not until a foul that Megan Jonassen, FCRH ’22, had a chance to make free throws. Jonassen made one of two to give the Rams an 11-point lead, 26-15. 

The end of the second quarter is when the trouble began for Fordham. Princeton’s defense left Fordham struggling to find a shot. Meanwhile, the Tigers responded offensively by scoring eight unanswered points, prompting Head Coach Stephanie Gaitley to reinsert Dingle into the game.

To close the half, Chen held the ball at half court and waited for the time to run out before scoring two points in the last five seconds. The quarter ended with Princeton behind Fordham, 33-31.

Princeton attempted multiple threes, but Fordham’s defense put immense pressure on the shooters.

Throughout the third quarter, Meyers reasserted herself as Princeton’s lead scorer, averaging 18 points per game. Princeton began the quarter by inbounding the ball, with the pass falling into Meyers’ hands, who scored a three-pointer. Princeton now held the lead for the first time since the opening basket. 

But its lead did not last long, as Downey immediately nailed a three-point shot. 

Heremaia’s play also improved as she displayed strength in the third. Heremaia cut through the middle of the paint with so much force that the Tigers did not even attempt to put themselves in front of her. Fordham was rebuilding their lead, 38-34.

Downey and DeWolfe dominated the end of the third quarter.

Princeton attempted multiple threes, but Fordham’s defense put immense pressure on the shooters. Although there were only five Rams on the court, based on their rapid movements Princeton appeared as if they had an entire army on top of them. 

Nonetheless, Princeton’s offense was able to handle the level of competitiveness as they took a 41-40 lead with five minutes remaining in the third. 

But Downey and DeWolfe dominated the end of the third quarter. DeWolfe reached her third consecutive 20-point game with efficient shooting.

As the third quarter came to an end, Fordham worked around the paint looking for a shot, but Princeton stole the ball. The Tigers missed their ensuing shot opportunity and Downey secured the rebound. This led to DeWolfe making her 24th point of the game. The quarter ended with Fordham in the lead, 52-41.

In the fourth quarter, Meyers redeemed herself and scored 12 points with four back-to-back three-pointers in the last 60 seconds of the game. With increased efforts from Meyers and the rest of her teammates, Princeton’s score finished at 67. Yet their efforts were not enough to overcome the collective strength of DeWolfe, Heremaia and Dingle who secured the 76-67 victory.

“Great defensive effort against a really good Princeton team,” Gaitley reflected after the game, “Super proud of protecting our home court!”

Fordham’s next game is on Dec. 8 against the Manhattan College Jaspers, who are currently 4-3, at Rose Hill.