The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

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The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

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Women’s Basketball Extend Win Streak to Six

The Rams defeated the A10-leading Saint Joseph’s Hawks in a thrilling victory and are now on a roll in the waning weeks of the regular season
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COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS

In a shocking performance, the Fordham women’s basketball team took down the Saint Joseph’s University Hawks, 62-57 on Wednesday, Feb. 28. The Hawks opened the game atop the Atlantic 10 (A10) standings with a 14-2 conference record. The Rams, on the other hand, were well rested and amply prepared to face the top conference program — their previous scheduled game on Feb. 21 against Davidson College was forfeited by the Wildcats due to a lack of players. According to Fordham Athletics, a non-COVID-19 related health and safety protocol kept the Wildcats from suiting up on Saturday.

It was this bizarre stroke of luck that may have contributed to the remarkable turnaround for the Rams, whose previous contest against the Hawks ended in a blowout on Dec. 30, 2023 with a score of 76-49. In what was its first conference game of the season, Saint Joseph’s delivered its second largest A10 win of the year, topped only by its 60-29 dismantling of LaSalle University on Feb. 18. 

For the Rams, however, defeating the Hawks ensures that the seeding for the A10 Championship will not be resolved until the final week. The Hawks had little to lose, but the Rams now stand tied with three other teams in seventh place, all grappling for a coveted bye in the upcoming A10 tournament.  

Nothing compares to a team down on its luck finally turning it around.

Entering this pivotal matchup, the Rams — aside from their technical win on Saturday — earned four hard-fought victories over the last three weeks. From Feb. 7-21, Fordham outscored its opponents 283-210. In every game, the Rams won by a margin of 14 or more. Starting against the University of Dayton Flyers on Feb. 7, Fordham leaned on consistent shooting at a high volume, nailing 44% of its field goals to Dayton’s 33%. 

It was a solid night for Emy Hayford, Graduate School of Arts and Science ’24, who topped the box score with 16 points. The Dutch transfer from the University of Pittsburgh has been second in scoring on the Rams this season averaging 12 points per game.The Dayton game was remarkable as the Rams did not give up the lead once, finishing the game up 22 points, 70-48. 

Against the University of Massachusetts (UMass) on Feb. 10, Hayford continued to show off her scoring acumen, putting up 17 points and knocking down three of five from beyond the arc. Forward Taylor Donaldson, FCRH ’24 and a transfer from New Mexico State, tallied a double-double to the tune of 16 points and 10 rebounds. 

The contest against UMass was lopsided, as the Rams went on multiple scoring runs, at one point scoring 14 unanswered points. By the end of the half, Fordham was up 38-17. In the fourth quarter, UMass snuck up with a mild 12-point run of their own, but it was too little, too late, and the Rams closed out 64-50 to take their second win in a row. 

Following this, Fordham went on the road and took on the St. Bonaventure University Bonnies in an even less contested game. It was, to put it lightly, a total blowout, with the Rams putting up 70 points to the Bonnies’ 48. The matchup completed the season sweep for Fordham, as it beat St.  Bonaventure on Jan. 3 earlier this season, 65-57 — a much closer affair. 

The Bonnies fought during the first half, despite the Rams jumping to a 10-point lead in the first quarter. In the second half, however, the Rams were up 20, and the game was essentially over. With three wins down, Fordham was on a roll.

It was, to put it lightly, a total blowout, with the Rams putting up 70 points to the Bonnies’ 48.

Finally, on Feb. 21, the Rams marched confidently home to Rose Hill and took down the Saint Louis University Billikens, 79-64. Hayford once again led the team in scoring, notching 22 points, while Donaldson added 21 to go along with 8 rebounds. Together, they scored more points than the rest of the Rams combined. Truly a dangerous duo on the court, the two are largely responsible for the Rams’ recent successes. 

Saint Louis challenged the Rams in the first quarter, but by the second quarter the Billikens had quieted, and Fordham pulled away. In the second half, Fordham worked its way in the paint as its 3-pointers found nothing but iron — Donaldson weaved through the defense, and by the end of the final period, Fordham had extended its winning streak to four.

Saturday came and went, and then finally, the Rams matched up against the Hawks. The game was a grueling back and forth contest. The lead changed 4 times in the first half, and another four times in the second. Donaldson once again led the Rams in scoring, scoring 18 including a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute of the 4th quarter. Fordham worked its way into the paint the whole game, slashing its way to 40 points near the basket, and wearing down Saint Joseph’s defense, eventually reaching their largest, albeit brief, lead of 8 points midway through the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the game took on new intensity and in the final minute, Fordham pulled away with a floater from the top of the key by Taya Davis, FCRH ’25. A graceful corner three by Donaldson off of an inbound pass gave Fordham a two point lead with 31 seconds left, before tenacious defense and two free throws by Davis iced the game. The clock rang and the Rams celebrated. Their win streak now at six, it was a refreshing moment after a tough beginning to the year. Forhdam lost 11 of 12 games from December to late January, including several crucial conference matchups.

Nothing compares to a team down on its luck finally turning it around. Fans were surely exhilarated by the victory over the Hawks, and with just one game now until the conference championship tournament, it is a confidence boost for the Rams to get revenge on the Hawks. 

The Rams will close out the season when they come home to Rose Hill on March 2 to play La Salle University, and more importantly, celebrate the seniors on Senior Day. The A10 Women’s Basketball Championship will be held from March 6-10. Although there may be serious doubts regarding the Rams’ championship aspirations, Fordham has proven in these final weeks that it can face adversity with grace and confidence.



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About the Contributor
AURELIEN CLAVAUD
AURELIEN CLAVAUD, Assistant Sports & Health Editor
Aurelien Clavaud (he/him), FCLC ’25, is an assistant sports & health editor at The Observer. He previously served as head photo editor and creative director. He majors in international political economy and loves photography, basketball and writing. He is from Houston, Texas, but has taken a liking to NYC and its frigid weather.

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