From left to right: Head coach Stephanie Gaitley, Danielle Padovano, Hannah Missry and Danielle Burns address media following Fordham's win over Dayton. (Photo by Ray Floriani/Daly Dose Of Hoops)
By Ray Floriani (@rfloriani)
BRONX, NY - The final home game and senior Day for Fordham saw the Rams, winners in three of their last four, entertain Dayton, an 11-1 team since January began. On this afternoon at Rose Hill, the Fordham faithful were rewarded as the Rams defeated Dayton, 66-52. Fordham is now 10-5 in conference while Dayton, hoping to clinch the Atlantic 10 regular season championship on this day, fell to a record of 12-3.
First five possessions:
Dayton: Missed FG, offensive foul, FG, FG, turnover
Fordham: Missed FG, three-point FG, FG, three-point FG, FG
Missed FGA (inside)
3 pt FG
3 pt FG
3 pt FG
The 10-4 Fordham lead at the 6:31 mark was a good start for the Rams, who were able to carry the momentum through the initial ten minutes. Fordham led 20-14 at the end of the quarter in a high-scoring affair given the defensive acumen of both teams. Three minutes passed in the second quarter before anyone registered on the scoreboard. A traditional three-point play by Alex Harris broke the ice. Fordham uses a great deal of ball screen action to free the guards. If perimeter shots are falling, great. If not, they look inside to the likes of G’mrice Davis. Dayton countered with some inside size of their own in Harris (6-foot-3) and Saicha Grant-Allen (6-foot-5). The duo posed a threat inside on both ends for the Rams, but the hosts led 34-29 at halftime. In a 32-possession game to that point, Fordham held an offensive efficiency edge of 104-96.
The first four minutes of the second half saw the Flyers enjoy an 8-4 edge. With just under six minutes to go in the third quarter, Fordham still led, 38-37. Dayton had to be encouraged as those first four saw some nice inside penetration from senior guard Kelley Austria. Throughout the game, easy baskets have been a difficulty for either team. Ideally, you would like a few each game, but every one has been earned, as both teams are defending in the half court. Momentum is another factor. In a game of mini-runs, Fordham had yet to relinquish the lead entering the fourth quarter, still up 44-39 with ten minutes to play.
Fordham goes deep into the shot clock on several possessions. The fourth quarter played out as a very competitive, physical affair. Dayton showed some full court pressure, and Fordham handled it. For the Rams, it is execution in the half court that is the issue. Davis came through with a few big field goals to keep Dayton at bay. In the stretch, Fordham’s lead turned the game into a free throw contest. Dayton, down three possessions, was in a fouling mode. The Rams simply had to convert from the charity stripe.
Offensive efficiency: Dayton 83, Fordham 105
eFG percentage: Dayton 43, Fordham 48
Free throw rate: Dayton 17, Fordham 39
Offensive rebound percentage: Dayton 16, Fordham 31
Turnover rate: Dayton 19, Fordham 18
Leading scorers and EF:
Dayton: Kelley Austria 21 points, EF 23.
Fordham: Kate Kreslina 19 points, EF 24.
What Dayton did well: Keep answering. The Flyers got off to a slow start and responded. Throughout the game, Fordham went on short runs, but each time, Dayton would not let the Rams pull away.
What Fordham did well: Rebound, a priority in this one. Fordham hoped to neutralize the Flyers on the boards and actually outrebounded them 36-27 in raw numbers.
Fordham placed three in double figures, Dayton two. Davis pulled down a game-high nine rebounds in addition to her thirteen points. Harris led Dayton with eight boards. The Flyers led 24-18 on points in the paint, yet Fordham had the 19-4 edge on second chance points, with the offensive rebounding battle taking effect on the outcome.
Ball control index:
Fordham seniors Danielle Padovano, Hannah Missry and Danielle Burns were honored, and the trio felt they came full circle. They defeated Dayton to win the A-10 championship as freshman. On Sunday, they were victorious over the Flyers on senior day.
“Defensively, we were slower and not ready, did not have the fight. Sloppy defense, too many open looks. Give Fordham credit, they were better than us. We’ve got to regroup fast. We do not know the seedings but still in contention for a championship. This hurts. We have to be ready a battle on Wednesday (hosting Saint Louis). We had adversity, but not an excuse. We knew that coming in, they had energy. We are good defensively, but disappointed as we were sloppy on defense and all year have been good on defense. One of our goals is to be aggressive. We finally got paint touches and something good happens. So proud of our growth this year, taking over in September, tough schedule, ups and downs early but were so resilient. We lost our point guard (Jenna Burdette) and handled it well. Even tonight, we are learning to play without her. Proud of where we are. Our goals are still in reach.” - Dayton coach Shauna Green
“Dayton is a great team, Shauna has done a great job. I did not know how we would respond after the upset at Davidson. We responded so well. Keeping them off the boards was a key in the game plan. Size has been a problem, but today, our kids did a great job. To play this way...we played three great games, then to play as we did at Davidson, I said, ‘are you hungry or satisfied?’ There is a difference, and we proved it facing the top team in the conference. We realize we tried to slow the game down a bit. We had been pushing the ball without a purpose. Do not take quick shots, attack matchups. Keeping them off the block was a priority, force them for a turnaround jumper. We wanted to force the bigs to beat us on the perimeter. La Salle (next game Wednesday) is improved and athletic. They have the conference-leading scorer (Amy Griffin) and an excellent point guard (Jasmine Alston). As we often say, it’s celebrate to midnight, then prepare.” - Fordham coach Stephanie Gaitley