Dingle’s Unparalleled Scoring Not Enough in Loss to St. Louis, 87-84

The Billikens hardly relinquished their lead as the Rams struggled to make up for slow start



Asiah Dingle, GSAS ’23, scored 22 in an otherwise disappointing outing for the Rams.


The Fordham women’s basketball team had a successful first half of the Atlantic 10 (A10) conference schedule, even when taking into account a dispiriting 63-57 loss to George Washington University (GWU) on Jan. 11 and a predictably sour 57-66 defeat at the hands of the University of Massachusetts (UMass) on Jan. 18 at Rose Hill.

The two knocks were disheartening, but it is doubtful that they set off any serious alarms; GWU is an equally competitive opponent, and UMass is an elite squad in the conference. The Rams were 6-2 in the A10 going into the weekend, having taken down most of their competition with tact. 

Then came the St. Louis University (SLU) Billikens, a 6-16 team that toppled Fordham on Saturday, Jan. 28, by a narrow margin: 87-84. The Rams remain a top-five program in the conference despite multiple close games against ambitious challengers. However, with just seven contests left in the season, Fordham is going to have to work just a little harder to keep itself afloat and make it to the A10 Championship in March. 

To add insult to injury, her shot made it a 6-for-6 start for Fordham, to St. Louis’ 1-of-7 field goals in just under five minutes of play.

The start of the game saw the Billikens take a 9-0 lead. A block by St. Louis, accompanied by a flurry of Fordham misses, set the tone for an atrocious quarter for the New York team. The Billikens outshot Fordham 62% to 33% and ended the period up 29-17. 

Asiah Dingle, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’23, and Anna DeWolfe, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’23, appeared to be in no mood for a beat down and attempted to take the game into their own hands. The second quarter was marred by long range duels — courtesy of Kaitlyn Downey, GSAS ’23, and Kyla McMakin, SLU ’23 — paired with Fordham’s excellent slashing attacks. 

Although the intensity picked up in the period — the Rams hit 60% of their shots and brought their 3-point total to 6 — the Billikens kept their grip on the scoreboard, largely due to their early explosion. St. Louis added to its offense with 90% free-throw shooting, kindly assisted by Fordham’s aggressive and foul-provoking defense. The half ended with the Billikens in the lead, 49-48.

For now, the Rams still have a lot to play for, sitting in a coveted fourth place position in the conference.

Being down at halftime is not unfamiliar to the Rams, but it heralds bad omens. Fordham was stoic, however, and the third quarter was a brief but intense turnaround. The shift in momentum was epitomized by Downey’s go-ahead 3-pointer halfway through the period. To add insult to injury, her shot made it a 6-for-6 start for Fordham, to St. Louis’ 1-of-7 field goals in just under five minutes of play. Downey walked back coolly.

St. Louis would briefly taste a lead just a minute later, but Fordham returned fire and ended the third quarter in command, 69-65. The period saw exceptional interior scoring by Jada Dapaa, GSAS ’23, and tenacious rebounding by both her and Downey.

It was a feel-good story that wouldn’t last. After Dingle made a layup, the Rams missed four consecutive 3-pointers, including one possession desperately extended by determined offensive rebounds. Fordham’s grip on the lead was tenuous, and St. Louis went on the attack.

McMakin single-handedly equalized the game and, for good measure, scored the go-ahead basket with a shifty side-step layup to make it 73-71 with 4:41 remaining in the game.

Fordham’s offensive woes compounded, and the Rams posted their worst shooting quarter of the game at just 27% from the field. However, the Billikens were never able to pull too far away. Dingle switched on in the waning moments and hit clutch shots, including a ridiculous 3-pointer in stride and off the backboard with 37 seconds left.

Fordham’s Interim Head Coach Candice Green frantically organized her strategy in the ensuing time out. Dingle stole a sideline inbound pass and calmly laid up the ball to bring the score within two points. She then stole a baseline inbound pass and dumped it to Dapaa, who tied the game at 84 with only 23 seconds remaining.

It wasn’t enough, and McMakin drained three coffin-sealing free throws to send the Rams back to the Bronx empty handed, 87-84. Fordham’s overall performance was disappointing, but the stars still shone. Dingle put up 22 points and four assists; DeWolfe scored 21 before fouling out; and Downey had 16 points with eight rebounds before doing the same. Dapaa scored 10 on five-of-six shooting.

Fordham will try to recoup the loss with what might be a deceptively easy contest against the 4-20 St. Bonaventure University Bonnies on Feb. 1. For now, the Rams still have a lot to play for, sitting in a coveted fourth place position in the conference. 

Fordham won 62-54 against St. Bonaventure in 2022, and the Bonnies are undoubtedly the weakest team in the conference. Take that with a grain of salt however, since the Rams’ last game against the Billikens, in 2021, was also a victory. It’s a hard-knock life in the A10, and nothing is certain.

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