A Fordham cheerleader mid-routine as Rams entertained Central Connecticut State in WNIT. (Photo courtesy of Ray Floriani)
Bronx, NY - First round WNIT action saw Fordham post a 70-67 come-from-behind victory over Central Connecticut at Rose Hill. The Rams will travel to St. John’s on Sunday to face the Red Storm, a winner over Army. The pace and possessions:
Pace: Fordham 70 possessions, CCSU 68
Offensive Efficiency: Fordham 100, CCSU 99
EFG: CCSU 53, Fordham 44
FT rate: Fordham 24, CCSU 21
OREB pct.: Fordham 33, CCSU 24
TO rate: Fordham 14, CCSU 18
What Central Connecticut did well: Shoot the ball. They came out on fire, shooting 57% the first half. The Blue Devils cooled down a bit in the second half, but turned in impressive numbers from the field for the night.
What Fordham did well: Maintain resiliency. The Rams trailed by double digits early as CCSU was firing on all cylinders. Fordham maintained poise, and possession by possession, gradually chipped away. They gained the lead late in the second half and eventually closed out the victory.
Scoring Leaders and OE:
CCSU: Amanda Harrington 18 points, OE .846.
Fordham: Tiffany Ruffin 18 points, OE .714.
Harrington was a handful in the low post. She shot 8-of-11 from the floor, while hauling in six rebounds. Ruffin made a few key plays the final four minutes. The Fordham guard was a veritable ‘stat stuffer’. Ruffin shot 7-of-13. The epitome of versatility, she grabbed nine rebounds, (4 offensive) adding three assists and five steals.
CCSU shot better from three than the line. The Blue Devils were 5-of-9(56%) from beyond the arc, and 6-of-12 (50%) from the charity stripe. Samantha Clark of Fordham led the rebounding category with 10. Clark also contributed 10 points in a solid effort.
The turnovers were damaging. CCSU’s rate was only 18%, under the cutoff of 20%. It was, however, the significance of those errors that proved costly in this one-possession affair. To illustrate, CCSU had 68 possessions. Subtract their 12 turnovers and you get 56 possessions winding up in a field goal attempt and/or free throw. Fordham had 70 possessions. Minus their 10 turnovers, you get 60 ’completed’ possessions. Now, look at the efficiencies, taking points divided by completed (turnoverless) possessions:
CCSU 120, Fordham 117
A graphic, or metric, evidence of how damaging those turnovers were to the Northeast Conference representatives.
A misleading number in the first meeting of the teams: On December 9, Fordham romped 72-36. Fordham coach Stephanie Gaitley pointed out CCSU was missing a few key players and improved substantially as the campaign progressed.
CCSU finished the season 19-13, while Fordham improved to 21-11.
“It was a hard fought game and we had a great start. We gave up 70 points and that makes it hard to win. It’s disappointing because we pride ourselves on defense.” – CCSU coach Beryl Piper
“They (CCSU) shot the lights out early but we stayed resilient, did not panic. We knew we would get shots and there were a lot of possessions left.” –Fordham coach Stephanie Gaitley