Fordham Women’s Basketball Overcomes Duquesne University, 59-52

A heroic 9-0 run by the Rams stunned the Dukes in the final two minutes



Anna DeWolfe, FCRH ’23, drives the ball to the hoop. She scored 13 points on 6-of-14 shooting.


The Fordham women’s basketball team defeated the Duquesne University (DU) Dukes on Saturday, Feb. 5, in a last-minute thriller, 59-52. The Rams are now 7-2 in the Atlantic 10 (A10) conference with just five games to go in the regular season. 

The game was largely in the hands of Duquesne until the Fordham stars secured the lead late in the fourth quarter with a solid run. Kaitlyn Downey, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill ’22, pitched in during the last two quarters with tenacious defense, drawing three charges. Asiah Dingle, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’22, gave it her all, playing a complete 40 minutes and scoring 24 points, making this her second-highest performance since the season’s opening contest. 

The game started with good defense by the Rams, who switched dynamically as Duquesne probed the perimeter. The early defense broke down as Duquesne started heating up from beyond the arc. The Dukes hit three in a row before cooling off and ending the quarter 3-for-8 from three. The Rams suffered from shooting the most. Only 26% of their shots in the first period and 16% from the three-point line were successful.

With considerable skill, Dingle and fellow guard Anna DeWolfe, FCRH ’23, threw up floaters and mid-range shots to keep Fordham in the game.

The Rams were primarily focused on movement outside to get interior shots, but Duquesne’s face-up defense caused problems for guards like Dingle, who were met at the rim with bodies multiple times. With considerable skill, Dingle and fellow guard Anna DeWolfe, FCRH ’23, threw up floaters and mid-range shots to keep Fordham in the game.

As the second quarter unfolded, Fordham suffered from a pure skill mismatch as guard Fatou Pouye, DU ’22, beat multiple defenders with dribble moves and drives to the basket. Her interior shooting was accurate, as she scored 10 points by the end of the half. Dingle, DeWolfe and Kendell Heremaia, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’22, all profited from the Dukes’ loose hands and converted multiple turnovers. Heremaia bullied her way to easy buckets.

Statistically, Duquesne was shooting considerably better at the half — 46% from the field to Fordham’s 32%. Despite the gap, the Rams managed to keep up and were only two points behind the Dukes, 28-26.

The second half started with poor defense on both sides. Fordham was drawn into the paint by drive threats, leaving shooters open. The Dukes went on a 9-5 run. The Rams quickly stopped the bleeding, regrouping during a timeout. Tough plays by Dingle, such as a crowd-silencing three-pointer in the first five minutes, helped maintain good spirits for the Rams as the deficit slowly grew smaller.

The third quarter proceeded with back-and-forth play and little to show for it on either side. Downey reignited the action with several highlight plays: First, she drew a huge charge with around four minutes on the clock and then knocked down two consecutive shots. Her hot hand on offense translated straight to defense with another drawn charge. Duquesne’s lead had been shaved all the way down to one, and the Rams had possession.

The last few minutes of the fourth quarter are moments of truth in a close game such as this one. With the odds fairly even entering the period, it was on either team to step up and make a final winning run. Fordham quickly retook the lead, and Pouye answered back. Her shooting hand all night was deadly. Pouye led her team on a 5-0 run with five minutes to go. 

Crunch time approached and the offenses were silent. DeWolfe broke the ice with a steal against Laia Sole, DU ’22. DeWolfe knocked down the fast-break jumper, and it was the beginning of the end for the Dukes.

Two offensively silent minutes proceeded rebound by rebound, turnover by turnover, and Duquesne couldn’t catch a break. But the lid on the rim refused to let up for the Rams, until Dingle ended the drought with a layup through sheer willpower. With two minutes to go, the game was tied.

With a minute and 30 seconds left, Dingle recorded her seventh rebound of the night. The Rams, ushered by Head Coach Stephanie Gaitley, pushed the pace. DeWolfe ran ahead and laid the ball up softly. The Rams gained a one-possession advantage. 

With under a minute to go, the Dukes subbed in their stars, the game still within their reach. Dingle secured her eighth rebound and passed it ahead to Heremaia. Standing in front of the Duquesne bench, she drained the dagger from behind the line. The Rams’ victory was officially secured by Dingle at the free-throw line, and the Rams notched their seventh win of the A10.

“Today was a step in the right direction!” Stephanie Gaitley, head coach

Although it was a statistically poor game from the Rams and an impressive shooting performance from the Dukes, the Rams’ 9-0 run was ultimately deflating. 

“We gutted it out and were able to show our best defense in the fourth quarter, which is something we have been working on,” Gaitley said, remaining positive after the win. “Today was a step in the right direction!”

Although a win is a win, late-game heroics are rare. Any reflection on this game will place an emphasis on tightening the defense that Gaitley has crafted. The Rams continue their A10 run versus Rhode Island on Feb. 13 at 1:00 p.m.