Fordham tops Dayton, claims A-10 title

By Tom Mulherin

Brent Nycz/Daily Collegian
Brent Nycz/Wikimedia Commons

Just one day after crushing second-seeded St. Bonaventure by 41 points in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament semifinals, the Fordham women’s basketball team continued its hot run on Sunday in the championship game, dominating top-seeded Dayton in a 63-51 victory, earning the A-10 title and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

Last year, Fordham lost 47-46 to Saint Joseph’s in the same title game, falling short of a berth into the NCAA Tournament by just one point. That fate would not repeat itself this season, as the Rams (25-7, 11-5 A-10) qualified for the tournament for only the second time in school history, with the first coming 20 years ago in 1994.

After watching their team just barely miss an opportunity to play in “March Madness” last year, senior guards Erin Rooney and Abigail Corning led Fordham to its victory, each recording double-double numbers in a night where both of them played all 40 minutes of the game. Rooney posted 13 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists for the Rams, while Corning added 12 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists of her own.

Looking past the double-doubles from the senior duo, Fordham displayed a well-balanced scoring attack in a true team effort, as Emily Tapio and Samantha Clark added 10 points each in the win, giving the Rams four double-digit scorers on the night.

Although the well-balanced offense from Fordham played a key-part in the victory, rebounding served as the most influential factor for the Rams. When the first half came to an end, the Flyers (23-7, 14-2 A-10) controlled the glass with a 20-18 rebounding advantage, and led the Rams 30-29 on the scoreboard. Something kicked into Fordham from there, however, as it out-rebounded Dayton 30-13 in the second half, and out-scored the Flyers 34-21 over the final 20 minutes of play.

Three players finished with double-digit rebounding numbers, as Tapio grabbed 12 rebounds on the night, marking the third player to record a double-double for the Rams. Offensive rebounds were a huge part of the team’s performance, as 17 of a total 48 rebounds came on the offensive end. Corning led the team in that area, grabbing five offensive rebounds for Fordham.

As for Dayton’s overall performance, Andrea Hoover was the only player to score at least 10 points, finishing with a game-high 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field.

Tom Mulherin can be reached at [email protected]