Fordham women’s basketball team eliminated in 1st round of NCAA Tournament
Having won 12 in a row, a second Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship the Fordham Rams women’s basketball team were on a roll heading into a 1st round NCAA Tournament showdown against Syracuse University on Saturday afternoon. However, the Rams would have to contend with the Orange having overwhelming crowd support playing on their home court at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.
Early on Syracuse jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the first quarter but the Rams charged back with an emphatic 10-2 run capped off by triple from senior guard Lauren Holden with less than two minutes left. Entering the second quarter, Fordham led 15-14 but the Orange answered with a furious 14-0 run over the next two and half minutes.
Freshman forward Kaitlyn Downey stopped the bleeding with a lay-up at the six and half minute mark. Syracuse continued to be relentless on the offensive end tallying 21 of last 25 points to push the advantage to 17 points with two minutes to go. Fordham had a difficult time containing Orange leading scorer Tiana Mangakahia totaling nine points, six assists and five rebounds as Syracuse held a 38-27 lead at intermission.
The Rams displayed a lot of grit and determination in the third quarter trimming the Orange margin down 49-42 on a trifecta from Downey with 2:22 remaining. Syracuse led 51-42 going into the final frame and quickly put the game out of reach early with back-to-back treys. The Orange lead would only grow from that point as Fordham struggled from the field scoring just seven points as Syracuse rolled to the 70-49 win.
Mangakahia led all scorers with 21 points and 11 assists. Gabrielle Cooper delivered 13 points and Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi added 11 points. For the Rams, Downey netted a game high 15 points. Fordham shot just 28 percent from the perimeter and 29 percent from three-point range. The Orange dominated the points in the paint 32-10, points off turnovers 22 to 5 and fast break points 15-2.
Sunil Sunder Raj
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