Women’s Basketball Can’t Catch Break, Lose to George Mason 61-49

Now on a three-game losing streak, the Rams are going to need a miracle to get back into the top four



The Rams’ chances of a favorable championship berth are dwindling as they dropped a crucial game to George Mason, their third in a row.


The Fordham women’s basketball team dropped the ball in another game, this time against the George Mason (GM) Patriots on Alumni Day, Feb. 19, finishing with a deflating 74-63 final score. The Rams are now on a three-game losing streak and have fallen to fifth place in the Atlantic 10 (A10) conference, just as the competition for championship spots is intensifying. Predictably, Fordham fell to the University of Massachusetts (UMass) on Feb. 8 but failed to capitalize against lower-ranked La Salle University on Feb. 16, losing 61-49.

Meanwhile, UMass is on a 12-game winning streak. The University of Rhode Island (URI), which holds the second place spot, just beat fourth-place St. Joseph’s University on Feb. 19; third-place George Washington University demolished the bottom-dwelling Loyola University Chicago on Feb. 18.

As top teams in the conference consolidate their positions, it seems as if Fordham is sliding out of contention. In fact, if St. Louis University does the impossible on Feb. 22 — defeating UMass — there is a good chance that the Rams are going to be looking at a less-than-ideal slot in the coming tournament, which begins on March 1. Every team in the conference is guaranteed to be in the competition. However, seeds 5 through 9 get a bye, and seeds 1 through 4 get two — an incalculable advantage in an exhausting single-elimination format.

Just one errant free throw kept the Rams from a perfect game at the line, 16-of-17.

On Feb. 19, everything went wrong for Fordham. It started with poor shooting. In the first two quarters, the Rams shot an abysmal two-of-12 from range and eight-of-33 from the field. Kaitlyn Downey, Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS) ’23, was the silver lining for Fordham, as she converted half of the team’s field goals in just nine attempts in the first half. 

Typically comfortable in the midpost with her back to the basket, Downey eased off the inside when George Mason started collapsing aggressively. On multiple occasions, Anna DeWolfe, Fordham College at Rose Hill ’23, found herself quickly robbed of the ball on her drives.

Downey instead took advantage of her shooting stroke, knocking down the Rams’ only two 3-pointers of the half. DeWolfe and Asiah Dingle, GSAS ’23, both struggled early, but Dingle made up for it with a perfect six-for-six performance at the charity stripe.

The Patriots held the lead for the entirety of the first two periods. The closest the Rams got was in the first two minutes, bringing themselves to within one point. In the second quarter, George Mason ran away with the score, putting a 14-point gap between themselves and the home team with six minutes to go. It was the Patriots’ largest lead of the game, 29-15.

Coming into the second half, a lot had to change for the Rams. Fordham is a 3-point-shooting team, attempting 7.8 per game and limiting opponents to 5.3. Accordingly, it is hard for a team to reorganize its offense when shots aren’t falling. 

The second half was a mad dash for the Rams as they tried to find a strategy that worked — for a few minutes they even settled in a groove, going on a brief 8-2 run from the end of the third through the early minutes of the fourth period. 

Twice in the third quarter the Rams managed to bring the score to within three. However, every time Fordham seemed about to take the upper hand, George Mason slapped away the threat. With less than a minute in the third period, Paula Suarez, GM ’25, drained a wide-open 3-pointer. Jogging back passively, the Patriots were clearly confident in their handling of the Rams.

And yet the final period just brought more drama. Within two minutes, Dingle, Downey and DeWolfe had brought the game to within a single possession, 55-53. The scoring pinballed back and forth until Taylor Jameson, GM ’24, took charge for the Patriots. 

She drilled a long-range shot and then a quick mid-range jumper with five minutes to go in the game. The Rams were now down 62-55. It was the beginning of the end. 

Just two minutes remained when the game devolved into free-throws. George Mason took a double-digit lead and closed out the Rams 74-63. Dingle, Downey and DeWolfe combined for 49 points. Just one errant free throw kept the Rams from a perfect game at the line, 16-of-17.

While the charity stripe likely kept the Rams in contention for a while, it wasn’t enough when threes weren’t falling. Fordham’s 3-of-20 from range was humbling, especially compared to George Mason’s 6-of-14.

Fordham is in a tough spot in the A10 now; the odds of the Rams pulling themselves into a top four spot are slim. With just two games left, including their next match against second-place URI on Feb. 22, the Rams may have to settle for just a single bye in the upcoming tournament.