Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Fordham Names New Coach
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 31- Less than two weeks after Tom Pecora was relieved of his duties as men’s basketball coach at Fordham University, it was announced a replacement was hired. Jeff Neubauer, the coach of the Eastern Kentucky Colonels for the past decade, was named the new men’s coach of the Rams.
Neubauer’s teams had record success at EKU. The Colonels won 101 games in the past five seasons and 188 in his 10 years at the helm of the Kentuckians. In five of the 10 years, the Colonels under the guidance of Neubauer qualified for a post-season tournament.
Immediately prior to his first head coaching position, Neubauer was an assistant to John Beilein at West Virginia for three years. In his final season at West Virginia, the Mountaineers reached the Elite Eight round at the 2005 NCAA Tournament.
Neubauer served as assistant coach to Beilein the previous five seasons at Richmond. The Spiders achieved great success during those years, winning 100 games and qualifying for the post-season tournaments in three of those years.
During his three years after college graduation, he was graduate assistant coach at The Citadel, where he earned an MBA degree.
Neuberger was the point guard of a very successful LaSalle basketball team from 1989-1993. The explorers compiled an 83-36 mark and three post-season tournament appearances, two in the NCAA and one in the NIT. The finance major was an Honorable Mention GTE Academic All-America in his senior year.
The native of Slidell, Louisiana is happy to be coming to the Bronx, “I am thrilled to get the opportunity not only to head coach at Fordham but to coach in New York City. Fordham has a great academic tradition and a beautiful campus.”
Realizing that the Fordham Rams have had only two seasons in the last 23 years in which the team compiled a record of .500 or better, he explained, “I really love challenges and am very aware of how competitive the Atlantic-10 Conference is and I’m looking forward to helping Fordham move forward in the conference.”
Although Fordham’s Rose Hill Gym in the oldest District I gym in the country and only seats 3,200, the new coach likes the facility, “I played here many years ago. I think it’s a neat place. I think it has character.”
Neuberger met the players on his team for the first time one day before his public introduction on Tuesday, “I was very impressed with them. I was not surprised because of the level of the school. I want them to get to know me through basketball.”
The personable young but experienced coach admitted to this reporter, “I’m not worried about the basketball. I’m not worried about the recruiting. I have no idea where I want to live.”
Fordham officials expressed great satisfaction with the new coach they signed. Fordham’s president, Joseph M. McShane, SJ, elatedly stated, “His ability to inspire superior performance on the court and in the classroom fits well with Fordham’s mission and our culture…Most importantly, we believe Jeff will be a positive force for our student athletes, in their careers and in their lives.”
Athletic Director David Roach commented, “He [Neubauer] has proven himself as one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the country and brings a tremendous amount of experience to our program.”
#Fordham #Rams #HeadCoach
Monday, March 30, 2015
Bronx News Sports: NYCFC Loses First Match in its History: NYCFC Loses First Match in its History By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 30- The NYCFC (1‐1‐2) lost its first match in ...
NYCFC Loses First Match in its History
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 30- The NYCFC (1‐1‐2) lost its first match in its history at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night. Sporting Kansas City (1‐1‐2) was the victor by a score of 1‐0. The win was the first of the season for the visitors, and the seventh time they have handed its first defeat to a club in its new venue.
The match sold out with a crowd of 27,545 who attended the second match of the home club in the iconic Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Although the home opener drew in excess of 43,000, the seating allocated for NYCFC matches was approximately 27,000.
New York area native Chris Wingert praised the loyalty of the club’s supporters, “It was really impressive for how many people came to watch us.” The Manhattan resident spoke of his trip to the Bronx, “I took the subway. It was a nightmare. I don’t know it well enough yet.”
The only goal of the match was scored at the 12 minute mark in the first half on a throw‐in by Matt Besler, a veteran of 25 Caps for the USMNT, which was knocked into the goal on a header by KC defenseman Ike Opara, his second goal of the new season. NYCFC coach Jason Kreis described the most crucial moment of the match, “We put our tallest guy on him, but Opara just beat him to the ball.”
NYC defenseman Chris Wingert, who has started all four matches, admitted, “It was frustrating to give up a goal on a throw‐in.”
Kreis spoke of the difference of how his club fared in each half of the contest, “In the second half, they did everything they could to get the tying goal. I don’t know why it takes a whole half.” He believes the club should start with more energy from the opening moment of a match, especially in a home contest.
A disappointment to the club and the fans was the absence of Spanish superstar David Villa. After suffering an ankle injury earlier in the year, Villa missed his first contest of the season. Kreis described the situation to reporters after the contest, “Yesterday we took him [Villa] out early to the training center. We quickly decided it wasn’t going to work. He’s managed through the pain and swelling for the past three weeks.” The coach believes the bye week will allow Villa to return to action for the next NYCFC match against the Philadelphia Union on April 11.
Kreis did not believe that the absence of Villa or forward Adam Nemec, who had started the first three matches, and was representing Slovakia on the weekend, made the difference in the result of the match.
The NYCFC coach was also pleased with the three substitutes (Tony Taylor, Kwadwo Poku and Thomas McNamara) who saw action, “All three substitutions were good. I was really proud of the effort the guys put in.”
Kreis uttered a mixed summary of his club to this point in its first season, “We need to improve in all phases, [but] there are still signs that I can say we’re going to be a good team.”
The next two NYCFC matches are a home and home with the Philadelphia Union. After a road match in Philadelphia on April 11, NYCFC will return to Yankee Stadium on April 16 to face the same opponent.
#NYCFC #Soccer #YankeeStadium #Bronxnews
Friday, March 20, 2015
Lady Rams Nip Blue Devils
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 20- For the third straight year, the Fordham Rams women’s basketball team (21‐11), under the direction of head coach Stephanie Gaitley, have qualified for a post‐season tournament. On Thursday night, the Rams hosted the Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) Blue Devils (19‐13) at the Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx.
Despite playing in different conferences, Fordham in the Atlantic‐10 and CCSU in the North East Conference (NEC), the two teams met in December in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The very one‐sided affair, a 72‐36 victory for Fordham, was Fordham’s biggest win and the worst defeat for the Blue Devils.
The outcome of the earlier contest was not replicated on Wednesday night in the Bronx. The visitors scored the first eight points in the contest. After netting another 11 unanswered points the Blue Devils reached a game‐high advantage of 14 points, 25‐11, at 12:11. A scoring run of 10 straight points by the Rams cut the Fordham deficit to four at 7:44. The first half concluded with CCSU leading, 37‐31.
The greatest difference in statistics from the first game between the two was the shooting from the floor by the Blue Devils. On December 9, they netted only 28.4 percent of their shots while sinking 13 baskets during the contest. In only the first half on Thursday, they shot an outstanding 56.7 percent and 17 of their shots were successful.
The visitors raised their lead to double digits again, 52‐41, at 13:07 of the second half, but the Rams began an impressive comeback at that point. A 16‐3 run by the Rams that culminated in one of the five 3 pointers by Hannah Missry knotted the score for the first time, at 57, in the game, at 8:43. The teams traded baskets until a jumper by Danielle Burns at 4:35 gave Fordham its first lead of the game, 63‐61. The Rams retained that advantage until the final buzzer sounded.
In the December game, neither team had even one player that scored in double figures. This was not the case on Thursday as four Blue Devils and five Rams reached double digit scoring.
Amanda Harrington, CCSU, and Tiffany Ruffin, Fordham, led their teams with 18 points each. Samantha Clark, Fordham center, achieved a double‐double with 10 points and 10 boards. Ruffin had an excellent overall game with 18 points, 9 rebounds, three assists and 5 steals. Coach Gaitley commented on the graduate student in her first year at Fordham, “Pretty impressive numbers. She gained confidence as the year progressed.”
Gaitley believed her opponent’s improvement came from several factors, “Her [Coach Beryl Piper] team was fully prepared; their best player [Tejahne Malone] was out during our first game; they’re much more relieved on the road.” She thought the players may have looked beyond CCSU because of the previous result, and stated, “We’ll use this [game] as an opportunity to grow.’
Fordham advanced to road two where they will meet the St. John’s Red Storm on Sunday afternoon in Queens. Gaitley looked forward to the New York City game that includes two teams that have been impressive in the recent past.
#Fordham #LadyRams #CCSUBlue Devils #MarchMadness
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Fordham Fires Coach
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 19- Seven days before the fifth anniversary of his hiring as the head coach of the Fordham University men’s basketball team, Tom Pecora was relieved of his duties at Fordham.
The announcement was made after a meeting between Pecora and David Roach, Fordham’s director of intercollegiate athletics and recreation. The reasons given for Pecora’s separation from the university were the team’s poor won/lost record of 44‐106 (.293) during his five seasons as coach and an a retention rate of only 50 percent of those recruited during the first four years under Pecora. Obviously, those figures were a disappointment to the university’s administration.
After beginning the 2014‐15 basketball season with only five wins in their first 20 games, The Rams closed the year with five wins in 11 contests. The improvement caused Pecora to speak very positively of the future of the Fordham Rams and his place in that future in his final press conference as Fordham coach on March 12 after Fordham’s loss to VCU in the second round of the Atlantic‐10 Championship in Brooklyn, “I think that if you looked at this team, and you didn’t think there was a bright future, you’d be crazy because of the youth and the enthusiasm and the veterans that are coming back.”
His closing words about his happiness and future at Fordham show no thought of what would happen on the following Wednesday, “I feel lucky to work at Fordham, to work in the university that’s got an academic reputation. That’s what brought me there. I thought the combination of athletics in the A‐10 and the academics could make it a special place if they were patient and they have been patient. I think they know they are going to turn the corner here and it’s going to be exciting when it happens. I’m a New York guy, man, I’m not going anywhere. I’m thrilled to still be here.”
Fordham’ press release closed with these words, “Fordham will launch a national search for a new head men’s basketball coach immediately, and will use the services of a search firm in the process.”
#Fordham #Rams #Coach #Bronxnews
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Jaspers End Season with a 74‐64 Loss to Hampton
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 18- The technical start of the NCAA National Tournament is the play of the First Four two days before the first round. The winner of each of Tuesday’s games will see action in the first round of the 64 teams that begin play on Thursday. The Manhattan Jaspers (19‐14) qualified for the tourney by defeating the favored Iona Gaels in the final of the MAAC Tournament. The Jaspers faced the Hampton Pirates (17‐17) of Virginia at the University of Dayton Arena. Despite finishing the regular season with a record under .500, the Pirates qualified by winning the MEAC Tournament.
The Pirates began by scoring the first seven points in less than three minutes. A dunk by Charles Wilson‐Fisher at 6:33 gave Hampton its first double digit lead. The advantage rose to a first half‐high 12 points, 35‐23, at 3:49. The lead was shaved by the Jaspers to seven at the end of the half, 38‐31.
In the second half, the Jaspers lowered the deficit to as low as a single point, but a comeback by the Pirates raised their lead to double figures again, 62‐52, at 5:43. Manhattan reached within single figures again, but never held the lead during the game. The Pirates were victors by a score of 74‐64.
Hampton now has to travel to Lexington, Kentucky to play the overall #1 seed Kentucky, who are undefeated this season. Manhattan’s season is over.
The Jaspers achieved every team’s goal to be in the NCAA Tournament in March, but their dream ended early.
#ManhattanCollege #Jaspers #MarchMadness #Bronxnews
Monday, March 16, 2015
Bronx News Sports: Soccer Kicks Off with a Bang in the Bronx: Soccer Kicks Off with a Bang in the Bronx Photos by Gary Quintal By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 16- The long await...
Soccer Kicks Off with a Bang in the Bronx
Photos by Gary Quintal
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 16- The long awaited arrival of the first team in MLS history to represent New York City took place at Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Controversies and expectations were high as the day of the first NYC FC game in New York City approached.
To those in the stadium, except for fans of the New England Revolution, the controversies were forgotten as the expectations were more than met. After the starting lineup of the NYC FC was announced, the Revolution fans, seated behind third base chanted, “Where is Lampard?.” They were referring to English star Frank Lampard, who will remain with Manchester City, the 80 percent owner of NYC FC. He will not join NYC until July.
Another controversial issue was playing soccer in a non‐soccer dedicated stadium. The question was asked of Coach Jason Kreis and superstar David Villa after the match. Both responded with their satisfaction of the conditions on the Yankee Stadium. Villa answered thusly, “The pitch was fine today. With even better weather, we will benefit from even better conditions.”
Kreis spoke of the positives of the occasion, “It fulfilled my dreams. We couldn’t ask for a better result against a very good team, and we couldn’t ask for better support from our crowd.”
Original plans were for approximately 27,000 seats to be allocated for the crowds at NYC FC matches. The opening day crowd numbered 43,507 fans, an extremely impressive and happy surprise for the organization.
Another happy surprise was the final score of the match. To the delight of the crowd, NYC was victorious by a score of 2‐0. The shutout by veteran goalie Josh Saunders was, of course, his first of the new season and the 21st of his career. He commented, “I think we can truly give something for the fans in New York City to cheer about.”
Most of those in the stands were looking forward to watching the excellent talents of Spanish superstar David Villa, the first player signed by the club to bedisplayed during the match. They did not have long to wait as Villa scored the first goal of the match at the 19 minute mark on an assist from Ned Grabovoy. Kreis said of the American, a member of MLS Cup winners in 2005 and 2009, “Grabovoy is an extremely important member of this team.”
Late in the second half, the 84th minute, Villa expertly set up the last goal with a pass to Patrick Mullins, who has entered the match as a substitute less than one minute earlier. Kreis remarked, “Most of the credit for that goal goes to David.” Mullins, who was drafted by New England last year, enthused over having Villa as a teammate, “The biggest thing I’ve taken from him is he’s a winner. He’s such a special player.”
The New York City team will travel to Colorado to face the Rapids on March 21 and return to Yankee Stadium for their second home match against Kansas City on Saturday evening, March 28.
#Soccer #NYCFC #Yankee Stadium #David Villa #Bronxnews
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Fordham Falls in Round 2
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 14- The men’s basketball season of the Fordham Rams (10‐21) ended after they were defeated by the VCU Rams (23‐9), 63‐57, in the second round of the Atlantic‐10 Championship at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. After advancing to the second round of the championship for the second straight year, Fordham’s season ended in round two.
VCU, the team from Richmond, Virginia, were the overwhelming favorites of the crowd of 6,806 in Brooklyn. The VCU coach, Shaka Smart, spoke with appreciation of the strong support of the crowd, “Our crowd is terrific, and our fans, we’re always appreciative of them coming up to Brooklyn and supporting us. I don’t know what the numbers are but it seems like every time we come up here, we have as many fans as anybody, or more.”
The fan support has certainly not hurt as VCU is 7‐3 at Barclays in the past two seasons.
The crowd, whether for or against VCU, saw a surprisingly exciting and competitive game between a 12th seed, Fordham, and a 5th seed, VCU. The score was knotted three times and the lead changed hands on four occasions during the first half. The highest advantage achieved by either team in the half was five, three time by Fordham. The five final points of the period by VCU’s high scorer of the year, Treveon Graham, tied the score at 30 at the end of the half.
The second half was just as competitive as the first with three ties and five lead changes. Fordham’s final lead, 52‐50, came on a three by freshman Manny Suarez with 6:07 on the clock. Fordham’s chances for a victory evaporated during the final six minutes as the VCU Rams outscored the Rams of the Bronx, 13‐5, to get the win and advance to the quarter‐finals.
After the contest, Smart spoke of those final minutes, “I thought our guys did a good job of being the more aggressive team the last six minutes.”
VCU’s control of the offensive boards was a major factor in achieving the win. Fordham coach Tom Pecora remarked, “They had 18 second‐chance points and we had 12 in a six‐point game...Their 20 offensive rebounds hurt us a great deal.”
Several players stood out for each team. Suarez scored 13 points contrasted with his previous high of three. During the post‐game press conference, Pecora commented on the freshman, “From a basketball standpoint, Manny has always had great talent. It’s just a matter of his maturation process but I’m very pleased with the way he’s played the last couple weeks...I’m excited about him...He’s going to be a major contributor next year.”
Brooklyn natives Jon Severe (14) and Bryan Smith (11) scored in double digits.
Treveon Graham led the victors with 22 points and nine rebounds. The leading scorer of VCU talked of his effort late in the contest, “Toward the end of the game, I just tried to attack the glass and do what I need to do for the team.”
Although it certainly gave no solace to Fordham, the other two double digit scorers for VCU are natives of the Bronx. Freshman Terry Larrier scored 0 and grabbed seven boards. Junior Melvin Johnson scored 16 and had six rebounds. Johnson was especially effective from beyond the arc, netting four 3’s of seven attempts.
Both teams played without their most valuable player. VCU’s Briante Weber, the A‐10 Defensive Player of the Year, and Eric Paschall of Fordham, the A‐10 Rookie of the Year, were out of action due to injuries.
The VCU Rams advanced to the quarter‐finals to face the Richmond Spiders.
#Fordham #Rams #VCU #Atlantic10 #MarchMadness #Bronxnews
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Bronx News Sports: Fordham Kicks Off Atlantic‐10 Championship with a ...: Fordham Kicks Off Atlantic‐10 Championship with a Win By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 12- March Madness has arrived. Th...
Fordham Kicks Off Atlantic‐10 Championship with a Win
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 12- March Madness has arrived. The four months of the regular college basketball season has concluded. Conference championships are currently underway or have recently ended. Next week, college basketball teams will be selected and seeded for the national tournaments.
Two days prior to the start of The Atlantic‐10 Championship, which began at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Wednesday night, the Manhattan Jaspers, Fordham’s Bronx rival, defeated the Iona Gaels to capture the MAAC Championship and automatically qualify for the NCAA National Tournament. The Fordham Rams (10‐20) and the George Mason Patriots (9‐22) clashed in the first game played of the A‐10 tourney at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The two teams had previously met four times with Fordham the victor in each encounter. They last met exactly three weeks earlier with Fordham winning, 80‐68. The result of Wednesday’s Atlantic 10 Championship opener was in accordance of the previous history between the two teams as Fordham was victorious by a score of 71‐65.
The first half of the contest was extremely competitive. The lead changed hands six times and the game was tied on seven occasions in the first 17 minutes. A layup by freshman Chris Sengfelder with 2:59 remaining in the first half gave the Rams a 30‐28 advantage, which they never surrendered. Another layup by the talented freshman and a jumper by senior Bryan Smith accounted for Fordham’s six point lead at the half, 34‐28. Sengfelder’s three rebounds in the final 1:42 of the first stanza helped protect the lead for Fordham. The frosh from Germany was the only player to score in double figures during the half with 15 points.
Fordham maintained its lead throughout the second half, but never reached a double digit advantage during the game. Each team scored 37 points in the second half on impressive 50 percent accuracy in shooting from the floor. In the first half, each squad netted 13 of 28 shots from the floor.
A three by Patrick Holloway of the Patriots the Fordham lead to two with 19 seconds on the clock, but two free throws by Smith and two by Sengfelder brought the Rams a six point win, 71‐65.
The Rams effectiveness of getting to the charity stripe was crucial to their victory. The netted 20 of 27 attempts while the Patriots sunk 11 of 15 free throws. The Rams scored their final nine points from the free throw line.
An injury caused Atlantic‐10 Rookie of the Year Eric Paschall to only play 11 minutes and score one point, but his absence was made up for by the spectacular efforts and talent of Sengfelder. The German native scored a career high of 27 points. Both coaches praised the freshman. Patriots’ coach Paul Hewitt remarked, “Sengfelder just played a great basketball game.” Tom Pecora commented, “He [Sengfelder] keeps getting better and better. He’s a lot of fun to coach.”
Brooklyn native Bryan Smith, a senior, received a lot of credit from his coach. Pecora said, “The job he has done has allowed Christian and Eric to develop a lot quicker than some of our freshmen have in the past.”
Smith was on the court for all but one minute of the game and scored 12 points. He described his elation of contributing to the victory in his home neighborhood, “It’s a great feeling. I have a lot of my friends and family here cheering me on and cheering the team on. I get to win in front of them, especially 10 minutes from where I live.”
The Rams, the 12th seed, move on to the next round to face VCU, the fifth seed, on Thursday afternoon.
#Fordham #Rams #Atlantic‐10Championship #Bronxnews
Friday, March 6, 2015
Fordham Loses Final Home Game
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 6- The Fordham Rams (9‐19, 4‐13) hosted their final game of the season at the Rose Hill Gym on their campus in the Bronx on Wednesday evening. The visitors, the Duquesne Dukes (11‐17, 6‐11) were contesting Fordham for a better seeding in the following week’s Atlantic‐10 Conference Championship.
Prior to the contest’s start, Fordham’s basketball seniors were saluted on the court. Two, Halilaj and Gaitley, of the four players underwent the difficult task of making the team as walk‐ons. Erando Halilaj, a Bronx native, joined the team this year and saw action in five games. DC Gaitley, son of Fordham’s women’s coach, played in six games. The communications major suffered several injuries which curtailed his playing time at Fordham. Nihad Musovic, a Fordham Prep grad, played in 11 contests in his four years at the university.
Bryan Smith played 113 games during his career at Fordham. The Brooklyn native is completing his college career very impressively. He appeared in every game this season, and started the last 13 at guard. Smith averaged 11 points per game in his latest nine contests. He scored his season high of 17 points against Duquesne.
Seniors Lauren Hutt, student assistant, and Nick Stanaj, team manager, were also honored for their service to the basketball program.
The Rams spurted to an early 7‐2 lead during the first two minutes of action. Eight unanswered points by the visitors gave the Dukes a 10‐7 advantage two minutes later. A 16‐11 lead by Duquesne was turned around as the Rams scored 14 straight points, keeping the Dukes scoreless for nearly seven minutes to move ahead, 25‐16 at 6:56. Fordham’s first double digit lead, 29‐18, at 6:04 evaporated by the close of the first half as the Dukes outscored Fordham, 20‐6, to lead 38‐35, at the half.
The Dukes began the second stanza almost exactly as they closed the first with a 20‐7 scoring run to take their largest lead of the game, 58‐42, with 10:58 remaining in the game. The 40‐13 scoring differential those 15 minutes decided the outcome as the Rams cut the advantage to single figures only once in the final 11 minutes. The Dukes were victorious, 81‐66.
Both teams had balanced scoring. Five of the Dukes scored in double figures; each of four players netted 16 points including L. G. Hill who came off the bench and in only 18 minutes scored 16 and grabbed seven rebounds. Four of Fordham’s starters scored in double digits paced by Smith who led with 17.
Fordham’s 17 offensive rebounds gave them access to 12 second chance points contrasted to two for the Dukes. The 12 Fordham turnovers allowed the Dukes to score 17 points from turnovers while Fordham only scored two.
Fordham’s coach Tom Pecora explained his disappointment with his team’s lack of effort during their final home game of the season, “We probably lost it yesterday during practice” where he felt his players were resistant to putting in sufficient effort. He told reporters, “Whether there’s two inches or two feet of snow, we’ll practice tomorrow.”
He also noted the same insufficient effort during the contest, “They [Duquesne] went to the foul line 25 times and we went eight. That shows you who played harder. Effort should be a given.”
Another reason Pecora cited for the loss was the absence of Eric Paschall. The freshman is fourth in the conference in scoring with an average of 16.5 points per game. Pecora stated that he was not replaced, “We lost our bounce without Eric.”
Both teams play one more regular season contests before entering the Atlantic‐10 Championship on March 12 at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.
#Fordham #Rams #Basketball #Bronxnews
Monday, March 2, 2015
Bronx News Sports: Fordham Women Edge Davidson on Senior Day: Fordham Women Edge Davidson on Senior Day By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 2- The Fordham Rams women’s basketball team ...
Posted by Bronx News at 9:18 AM
Fordham Women Edge Davidson on Senior Day
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, MARCH 2- The Fordham Rams women’s basketball team (19‐10, 11‐5) played its final basketball game of the regular season at The Rose Hill Gym on Fordham’s Bronx campus. Since it was the final home game of the season as well, the four graduating players were honored on the court prior to the contest.
After not starting a game in her first two injury affected years at Fordham, Emily Tapio started every game in her junior and senior seasons. The Brewster, New York native is the leading scorer on the team, averaging 12 points per game. Of even greater importance to her future life, the Business Administration major was named to the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Another Business Administration major, Liz Milner of Cold Spring, New York was also named to the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll. Milner has not seen action during the past two seasons because of a torn ACL she suffered prior to the 2013‐14 season. Despite her injury, she is always present at games and strongly supports her teammates.
Taryn Durant started 15 games this year after only one start during her first three years at Fordham. Coach Stephanie Gaitley praised the Psychology major after the final home game for her consistency on and off the court and remarked, “She is a joy to work with.”
Tiffany Ruffin is not a Fordham senior. She graduated from Boston College in 2013 and is currently working towards a Master’s degree in Media Management at Fordham. Ruffin has fit in easily and quickly with her teammates. She directs the Fordham offense as its point guard. Gaitley recognizes the importance of the newcomer and has said, “We will go as far as Tif does.”
The Davidson Wildcats (5‐24, 1‐15) were Fordham’s final regular season opponent. They entered the game with a 10-game losing streak, so most observers believed the Rams would have an easy win.
Although the visitors took a 4‐3 lead in the first minute of play, it was the final advantage for the Wildcats in the first half. Fordham then, as expected, dominated play with a 20‐6 scoring run, which gave the Rams a 23‐10 lead at 8:33. The half ended with Fordham leading, 31‐21.
A layup by Durant at 12:06 in the second half brought the Rams another double digit advantage. It appeared to many that the Rams would now coast to victory. The visitors then scored 12 unanswered points to take a 42‐40 lead with 7:14 remaining in the contest. The change in the game led Gaitley to remark after the game concluded, “We (Fordham) need to do a better job to stay composed during an opposing run.”
Fordham on the strength of its seniors, closed the contest with a 14‐4 scoring run to win, 54‐46. The three seniors who played, Tapio, Ruffin and Durant, scored 16 of Fordham’s final 18 points.
Gaitley looked upon the bright side of the surprisingly difficult contest, “This was actually good for us as the conference tournament is going to be a grind.”
Fordham finished the season fourth in the Atlantic‐10, thus, giving them a bye in the first two rounds of the conference championship, which begins on March 4. They will next play at 2 pm on March 6 in the quarter‐final round of the A‐10 Tournament.
#Fordham #Rams #Basketball #Bronxnews