Saint Joseph’s Rally Falls Short in Loss to Fordham

The Hawks Got to Within One Possession of the Rams Three Times in the Last Minutes

PHILADELPHIA, PA 1/22/2023 –

The Fordham Rams started fast and got out to a lead as many as 23-points. In the second half the Saint Joseph’s Hawks rallied, but the hill was too steep to climb. Fordham takes a 71 – 65 win at the Hagan Arena on Hawks Alumni Day. Asiah Dingle scored a game-high 21 points for the Rams. Talya Brugler led the Hawks scoring 20 and taking down 9 rebounds.

“We just were not ready for their speed, weren’t ready for them to knock down these shots,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Cindy Griffin. “I felt very proud of our kids with their resilience and coming back making it a game in the fourth.”

At the end of the first half St. Joe’s got a three-pointer from Laura Ziegler to cut the gap to 43 – 25. The Rams outshot the Hawks 64.3% (18 of 29) to 35.5% (11 of 31), and had 6 from distance compared to only one for SJU.

The script flipped for the Hawks as they won the third quarter 25 – 11 as they made 9 of 14 from the floor, 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. Fordham made 4 of 14 shots. Mackenzie Smith found the range as she made 1 of 10 in the first half, then 6 of 10 in the latter twenty minutes. The message was clear; Get the ball inside.

“We were settling for jump shots, outside of the paint, and it wasn’t working for us,” Griffin said. “Once we said keep going at it and some paint touches, whether it be driving or post entries to balance out our attack from the offensive standpoint.”

The game got close. Saint Joseph’s pulled to within 63 – 60 on two free throws by Brugler. The deficit was three-points two more times, but each time Fordham answered. After the Brugler foul shots, Dingle answered with a jumper in the paint.

Brugler, again, went to the line and drained both foul shots to make the score 65 – 62. On the next possession the shot clock ran down to one second when Kaitlyn Downey put up a three-pointer that went in and doubled the advantage with 25 seconds on the clock.

Olivia Mullins, who scored a career-high 16 points, made a three at the 11 second mark and the score was 68 – 65. But that would be the last points the Hawks would score. Dingle put the game away making 3 of 4 free throws. One stop may have made the difference for SJU.

“I think those were key possessions or pivotal moments,” Griffin said. “We would have had two more possessions. I think that was really huge.”

Brugler sank all 8 from the charity stripe to set a career-high in made free throws.

Saint Joseph’s and Fordham came into the game tied in the Atlantic 10 standings with a 4 – 2 record. The Hawks have lost their last three games, all close ones with the upper echelon of the league; UMass, La Salle, and Fordham. The Hawks showed they are in the mix.

“This was a tough stretch for us and it’s not going to be any easier,” said Griffin. “The league is really competitive. One thing that we need to do is just stay true to what our core values are which is being selfless and relentless.”


Written By: Glenn Papazian

Contact: Glenn!

Olivia Mullins Who Scored a Collegiate-Best 16 Points

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