Fordham Women’s Basketball Falls Just Short to UMass, 80-79

The game went down to the wire, until the Minutemen settled it with a whirlwind game-winner



Asiah Dingle, GSAS ’23 calls a play action. Dingle scored a season-high 30 points at an efficient 68% clip.


The Rams are feeling the pressure as they were bested on Feb. 8 by the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Minutemen — the second-best team in the Atlantic 10 (A10) — 80-79. With just four games counting down to the A10 championship, which begins March 1, the Rams are locked in a fierce battle for the top spots in the tournament.

It was a cool 30-point night for Asiah Dingle, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’23, as she made her season-high night look easy. She hit 13-of-19 from the field, including 3-of-5 from three. 

Despite the heat of crunch time, Dingle and Anna DeWolfe, Fordham College at Rose Hill ’23, combined for Fordham’s final six points, swinging the advantage back to the Rams three times in the final minute and thirty seconds. But the Minutemen worked quickly. With only 11 seconds left and the Rams teetering on the brink of victory, Ber’Nyah Mayo, UMass ’24, spun and scored in the paint over Kaitlyn Downey, GSAS ’23. It was Mayo’s 29th point, capping off a high power duel with Dingle.

The Rams were afforded one final chance, but UMass’ defense prevailed, swiping the ball from the hands of Jada Dapaa, GSAS ’23, right as the buzzer went off. The Minutemen hopped away ecstatically, as they are now two games ahead of the Rams, having decisively defended their second place berth.

Fordham may be a hot-shooting team at times, but it’s the details that count.

And yet the final moments of the game were hardly representative of the entire contest. Although the lead changed 10 times, the Rams held an 11-point advantage with a minute left in the first half.

True to their name, the Minutemen promptly evaporated the Rams lead. In just 45 seconds, UMass hit three consecutive long-range shots, courtesy of Sydney Taylor, Sam Breen, and Destiny Philoxy, all UMass ’23. Those three combined for 41 points in the game.

The end of the first half heralded the Minutemen’s comeback. It set up what inevitably transpired in the waning moments of the contest. But the Rams can still be proud of their first half shooting performance. They shot 60% from the field and 63% from long range. In addition, they out-rebounded the Minutemen 19 to 15. 

All of this, however, can be effectively undercut by the Rams’ 12 turnovers in the half, totaling 19 in the game. This was almost twice as many as the Minutemen. UMass also took command at the line; the whistle blew 18 times against the Rams across 40 minutes, allowing UMass to shoot 10-of-16 from the charity stripe.

Fordham may be a hot-shooting team at times, but it’s the details that count. Although the Rams fought hard in the final minute, the game was decided long before crunch time. UMass played tough, countering poor shooting with excellent perimeter defense; Fordham shot just two-of-13 from range in the second half. 

When a team like Fordham inevitably cools off, it is hard to recover from the little mistakes. Turnovers and fouls kept the game close in the second half, and the Rams paid the price for sloppy offense. Despite this, the game was a spectacular effort by Fordham. UMass, however, is likely already looking ahead.

Of their final four games, the Minutemen have just two more challenging matchups ahead: one against first-place University of Rhode Island (URI) on Feb. 16 and another against fourth-place George Washington University on Feb. 25.

On Feb. 22, Fordham will also face URI. For these top four teams, every game counts. Their matchups against each other are determining factors in how the championship schedule will shape up. The Rams lost 58-43 against URI last season, but the new coaching staff at Fordham may allow for a different outcome. 

If the Rams are looking straight ahead, on the other hand, their next contest should be a little more comfortable. They will face off against the La Salle University Explorers — who have broken even in 10 conference performances — on Feb. 16.