Wednesday, December 14, 2016

St. John's 59, Fordham 45: Tempo-Free Recap

Fordham's cheerleaders exhort the Ram faithful against St. John's. (Photo by Ray Floriani/Daly Dose Of Hoops)

By Ray Floriani (@rfloriani)

BRONX, NY - Fordham entertained St. John’s in a non-conference women’s meeting that promised to be a great deal closer than when the men met in this same matchup. St. John’s, like the men’s game, emerged victorious. The 59-45 margin was closer than the score indicated. The loss was the Rams’ first at Rose Hill Gymnasium this season.

Fordham: Missed FG on post-up, missed FG, turnover, missed FG, missed FG
St. John's: 13-foot FG, missed FG, two free throws, turnover, 17-foot FG

Six minutes and fifty-one seconds remained in the first quarter following those opening possessions. St. John’s had a 6-0 lead, not a guarantee for a win, but it is always desirable to get off to a good start away from home.

Early on, you got the impression while watching that rebounding would be a factor. St. John’s entered the game with a minus-3.8 rebounding differential. File that number aside, as St. John’s had size and was quick to the ball. On the night, the Red Storm were outrebounded 36-35, but the key in coach Joe Tartamella’s opinion was limiting Fordham to two second chance points.

St. John’s went almost three minutes without scoring to open the third quarter. The first four minutes saw Fordham play the aggressor, going on an 8-2 run to retake the lead at 30-29. Beyond the numbers, during that time, St. John’s began to look very tentative and unsure on offense.   
In the final analysis, it came down to defense. Fordham, who started the half so well, was now struggling, especially in the final quarter. One play in particular epitomized those struggles. Trailing by eight with three minutes left, Hannah Missry made a steal at half court. She passed to a sprinting Lauren Holden, who went in and blew the layup. St. John’s got the rebound, effectively icing the game against the Rams.

Possessions: Fordham 64, St. John’s 63
Offensive efficiency: Fordham 70, St. John’s 94

Four Factors:
eFG%: Fordham 35, St. John’s 46
Free Throw Rate: Fordham 19, St. John’s 17
Offensive Rebound%: Fordham 31, St. John’s 29
Turnover Rate: Fordham 28, St. John’s 16

Leading scorers and EF:
Jade Walker, St. John’s (18 points, EF 24)
Danielle Burns, Fordham (13 points EF 18)

St. John’s is now 6-3, while Fordham dropped to 7-4. Jade Walker had a game-high eight rebounds. The senior also showed a nice touch from mid-range. Fordham committed 18 turnovers to St. John’s 10, only three of which came in the second half. The most damaging aspect of the Rams’ miscues, as both mentors alluded, was the 18-2 points off turnovers edge enjoyed by the visitors. Neither team had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio. St. John’s had nine assists and ten turnovers. Fordham’s numbers were a woeful eight and 18.

Credit good defense in this grind-it-out affair. Some blame must be reserved for the offense, as only eight of Fordham’s turnovers, for example, came courtesy of St. John’s steals.   
Hannah Missry, an outside threat for Fordham, was targeted by the St. John’s defense. Missry finished with two points on 1-of-5 shooting.

Final thoughts:
“Great win for us on the road. Tough to play here. They had played well here and had confidence. Fourth quarter, we did a great job finishing and opening the game up. A big test for us from where we started game one to now, game nine. Everybody gave us effort. I was pleased with our enthusiasm.” - St. John’s coach Joe Tartamella

“I think my teammates did a good job finding me. It was my job to put the ball in the basket. I was open and had to do what I could to get my team the ‘W.’” - Jade Walker of St. John’s

“Our non-conference games were a test on the road and at home. It was about finishing. We are youthful in many areas. We have had young kids play major minutes. Non-conference, we gave ourselves a test, but it doesn’t get any easier. We have to get ready for Big East play and still figure out who we are. Defensively, we did a great job. At the half, we talked about making sure we understood the game plan and defended. We did not put them on the line and stop their transition.” - St. John’s coach Joe Tartamella

“Congratulate St. John’s. They gave us our first loss at home. Disappointed in our fourth quarter offense. One of the games we played without G’mrice Davis. She got in foul trouble and we got tentative. Disturbing was giving up 28 points in the paint (28 second half) and 18 points off turnovers. We do not have the size, but I think we have the depth. This is one that got away, but if you want to beat a team the caliber of St. John’s you must play defensive and take care of the ball. We have to learn, don’t let officiating or external things affect you. If it happens, move on.” - Fordham coach Stephanie Gaitley

“A lot easier this year (point guard play) having that year’s experience.” - Fordham sophomore guard Lauren Holden

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