Fordham Women’s Basketball Dominates Fairleigh Dickinson After Hiatus

The Rams return to their successful season after COVID-19 forced a three-week pause



Megan Jonassen, FCRH ’22, helped lengthen Fordham’s lead in the second half.


The Fordham women’s basketball team defeated the Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) Knights, 63-36, after a 21-day hiatus due to COVID-19 protocols.  

Both teams entered the court without their usual starting players. Fairleigh Dickinson especially had an empty bench with only five extra Knights to spare. On Fordham’s side, Kendell Heremaia, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ’23, was unable to play this game because of COVID-19 protocols. But Heremaia was on the sidelines, fully masked along with everyone else in the fanless gymnasium, supporting her teammates. 

The three-week break in competition put the Rams at a disadvantage in the first quarter as the Knights made easy shots against Fordham’s passive defense. Madison Stanley, FDU Graduate School ’23, cut from the top of the three-point line past Asiah Dingle, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’22, and put the ball straight into the basket. Seven minutes into the first quarter, the Knights led 4-2. 

Fordham continued to miss its shots in the first quarter, making four out of 24 attempted shots.

Offensively and defensively, the Rams struggled early on. Megan Jonassen, FCRH ’22, missed two consecutive layups because she was overwhelmed in all directions by the Knights’ aggressive defense. 

With five minutes left in the quarter, Fordham was down by four. Anna DeWolfe, FCRH ’23, made a pass toward Dingle at halfcourt as the Knights attempted to catch up to the pair. Dingle caught the pass but missed the layup. Fordham continued to miss its shots in the first quarter, making four out of 24 attempted shots. 

The Knights finished the first quarter with a four-point lead. Both teams had minimal shooting success as the scoreboard paraded the 12-8 score.

The Rams couldn’t be denied for long, however, as they turned the tables in the second quarter, successfully scoring 64% of the shots.

To begin Fordham’s uphill climb to another victorious game, DeWolfe made her first three-pointer, shortening Fairleigh Dickinson’s lead to a point. As the Knights regained possession of the ball, Dingle surprised Taylor Crystian, FDU ’24, with a steal. The suddenness of the turnover led to an easy layup for Dingle and Fordham’s first lead of the game, 13-12.

The seven minutes that remained in the second quarter were transformative. Though the teams exchanged the lead for a few possessions, Fordham seemed to be rounding into form. It was as if the Rams mentally restarted the game when DeWolfe made her second three-pointer, a shot that evened the score at 16. Two jump shots from Jonassen and DeWolfe within 20 seconds put Fordham in the lead by four. 

The dam finally broke with two minutes remaining in the quarter, when Fordham put up 10 points, four of which came from DeWolfe. Milliseconds before the buzzer rang, DeWolfe scored the quarter’s final points to put the Rams ahead 30-19. 

Though the Rams’ offense was clearly on point as the game progressed, the large deficit was only made possible by the Knights’ miscues.

Straight out of the halftime break, the Knights had possession of the ball until Downey forced a steal and sent the ball through the net. After Downey’s shot, Dingle followed up quickly with another score. Another shot from Downey put Fordham ahead 17 points. 

Though the Rams’ offense was clearly on point as the game progressed, the large deficit was only made possible by the Knights’ miscues. By the start of the third quarter, Fordham had already scored 14 points off of Fairleigh Dickinson’s numerous turnovers. 

Jonassen, Dingle and DeWolfe continued to lengthen Fordham’s lead. With six minutes left in the third quarter, Fordham was 22 points ahead of the Knights who had not scored since late in the second quarter. 

Celia Carbonell, FDU ’23, welcomed the Knights back into the game with a three-pointer that was made off of a rebound from Dingle’s missed jumper. The Knights were working on closing Fordham’s double-digit lead. Though the Rams were largely geared down in the late stages, they only continued to extend their lead.

Despite COVID-19 forcing key players out of the game, the Fordham women’s basketball team dominated the court again.

Without Heremaia, more Rams were forced to step up throughout the game. Shots from Jonassen and a closing three-pointer from Downey finished the third quarter with Fordham ahead 53-26. The fourth quarter ended quietly, as both teams scored 10 points each to resolve a 63-36 blowout.

Despite COVID-19 forcing key players out of the game and even some players to miss practice, the Fordham women’s basketball team dominated the court again in the 27-point victory. The Rams’ next game against Saint Louis University on Jan. 5 was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols within the Saint Louis program, but the team will look to begin Atlantic 10 conference play when the team plays the University of Rhode Island on Jan. 9.

As the season continues, Fordham has adjusted to the increasing number of COVID-19 infections. The Fordham women’s basketball game against Fairleigh Dickinson was the first game displaying the stricter protocols in action. An email released on Jan. 3 announced that the university will no longer allow spectators to attend athletic competitions, and eating and drinking is prohibited at athletic events until further notice.

Although empty stands without cheering peers and parents can be unmotivating for athletes, Fordham’s women’s basketball team proved this game that an audience is not required for their success. 

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