By Andy Lipton
Special To Daly Dose Of Hoops
JAMAICA, NY -- Sorry for the cliché, but it was a shame one team had to lose in this incredibly hard-fought and exciting game that went 50 minutes with simply no let-up on either side. The players had a right to be exhausted, yet hustled until the final buzzer.
In the end, Fordham emerged with a thrilling three-point victory against St. John’s this past
Tuesday night at Carnesecca Arena, 67-64, in double overtime.
The Rams' starters played 240 minutes out of 250 minutes, with junior guard Lauren Holden and junior forward Mary Goulding playing the whole game. For the Red Storm, senior forward Maya Singleton and freshman point guard Tiana England played 49 and 48 minutes, respectively. Bodies were flying all over as players dove on the court and were knocked down, but it is in the DNA of both Fordham and St. John’s teams not to back down to anyone.
Going into the game Fordham was 5-3 and was St. John’s was 6-2. The Rams' Breanna Cavanaugh led both teams in scoring with 20 and England was second high scorer with 17. The game was close the whole way. Fordham’s largest lead was by seven in the first period and St. John’s by six in the third period. Both teams played ferocious man-to man defense, and yet the ball moved constantly in their half-court offenses. Fordham, adept at slowing the pace of the game on offense, had the same number of shots as St. John’s at 64. It was a low scoring first quarter with Fordham ahead 13-10 despite St. John’s
getting off 14 shots to Fordham’s 10.
St. John’s seemed like it was asserting itself in the second quarter, outscoring Fordham 17-9 and taking a 27-22 lead. Cavanaugh had only two points in the first half.
In that first half, Fordham's 6’3” freshman forward, Johanna Klug; from Nordlingen, Germany, made all three of her field goal attempts, leading the Rams with seven points for the half. Klug finished the game with a Fordham career high of 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting, scoring both inside and from the three-point line. Cavanaugh, playing in her first college season after having sat out the last two years, (one season due to injury, the other due to transferring) was cool and calm down the stretch, as she shared the responsibility of bringing the ball up the court with point guard Lauren Holden.
With 1:20 left in the first overtime, Cavanaugh hit a three-pointer to give Fordham a three-point lead. About 20 seconds later, England answered with a three-pointer to tie the game at 61 and that’s where the score was going into the second overtime. St. John’s senior Maya Singleton was strong in her tight and active defense and held Fordham’s season leading scorer, senior forward G’mrice Davis, to 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting. Singleton was also very active offensively in the post in the first half, leading the Red Storm in scoring with nine points and 10 shots that half.
With about two-and-a-half minutes left in the game, Davis, determined not to be denied, was closely guarded by Singleton, but scored on a strong move to her left down low and cut the St. John’s lead at that point to 64-63. Fordham took the lead for good with 46 seconds left on a pass from Goulding up top to Cavanaugh underneath. With 24 seconds left, Cavanaugh hit two free throws to widen the lead to three. The Red Storm missed its chance to tie in the last 24 seconds, as Fordham played tough defense and St. John’s shot right before the final buzzer was not a good look and forced.
Photos (All photos by Andy Lipton/Daly Dose Of Hoops)