The fifth annual Fordham Holiday Classic got underway on Thursday, December 29, from the Rose Hill Gym and Fordham, led by 14 points from Arielle Collins, defeated Navy in the opener, 47-43. The victory moved the Rams into the championship game on Friday at 3:00 P.M.
Fordham jumped out to the quick 7-2 lead as Collins had the hot hand early, making a three-pointer and following that up with a driving layup set up by a beautiful ball fake.
From there, the Midshipmen rattled off ten straight points to take a 12-7 lead on two of Jade Geif’s game-high 17 points, with 14:20 remaining. Fordham responded by scoring the next six points to go up, 13-12, on a Christina Gaskin three-pointer at 12:30.
Navy went on another 5-0 run build a 17-13 advantage at the 9:23 mark with all five points coming from Audrey Bauer.
In yet another 5-0 run, this one by Fordham, gave the Rams an 18-17 lead on a Cody Sims desperation three-pointer and a spinning layup in back to back possessions. Fordham pushed the lead to six, at 27-21, when Abigail Corning buried a three-pointer at the 1:58 mark and took a 27-23 advantage in halftime.
In what was a game of mini-runs, Navy once game came out and scored the first four points of the second half, to even the score at 27 on a Geif layup at 17:52.
With the score knotted at 27, Fordham scored five straight points, courtesy of a Becky Peters jumper and a Christina Gaskin three pointer that beat the shot clock at 16:41. Fordham pushed the lead out to nine, 41-32, the largest lead of the game, on a Collins three-pointer at 10:12.
Navy slowly chipped away at the Rams’ advantage, eventually drawing to within two, 45-43, when Bauer buried a three-pointer with 1:38 remaining. Some solid defense inside by Gaskin helped Fordham get two stops in the closing minute and a half and Collins was fouled to stop the clock with 0:11 remaining.
On the line for a one-in-one, Collins calmly sunk the first free throw before the Middies called timeout. Following the respite, Collins made the second foul shout and Fordham held on for a 47-43 win.
With the victory, Fordham improves to 8-4 on the season and will face the winner of the Coppin State – Boston University game in the championship contest on Friday at 3:00 PM.
Geif and Bauer each scored a game-high 17 points, while the Rams were led by 14 from Collins and 13 from Corning. Gaskin recorded a career-high five blocks.
Game Notes: Fordham scored 12 points off of 18 Navy turnovers….The Rams committed just 9 turnovers, the fewest since, February 23, 2011 when they had six against Massachusetts…Gaskin’s five blocks were the most by a Fordham player since Jada Jefferson swatted five attempts at Massachusetts on January 16, 2005…The 43 points allowed was the eighth time this season the Rams have held an opponent below the 50-point plateau… The Rams are 8-4 after 12 games for the first time since the 202-03 season.