Date & Time: Saturday, March 23 at 1 p.m. ET
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Series Record: Tied, 2-2
Last meeting: Syracuse 76, Fordham 54
The last time Syracuse played Fordham was November 28, 2015 in Las Vegas. Alexis Peterson led the way for the Orange with a game-high in points (25), assists (eight), and steals (five).
At the end of the third quarter, Syracuse led 47-42. The fourth quarter was all SU though. Syracuse outscored the Rams 29-12 in the final frame. The Orange started the quarter on a 16-0 lead and blew the game wide open.
This run was sparked by the full-court pressure from the SU defense. The team forced 31 turnovers, which resulted in 34 points. Syracuse shot well from behind-the-arc, going 10-21 from three-point range, but the only other players to scored in double-digits for the Orange were Brittney Sykes, with 18 and 10 points from Brianna Butler.
Head Coaches: SU: Quentin Hillsman (13th year, 287-144); Fordham: Stephanie Gaitley (8th, 194-102)
Coach’s Bio: Gaitley has been a DI head coach since 1985, when she took over the Richmond Spiders and won 116 games over six seasons, including two CAA championships in her final two seasons. She moved on from there to St. Joseph’s, where she won 196 games in 10 seasons, taking home two A-10 titles and making the NCAA Tournament five times (winning two games). She took a paid leave of absence halfway through the 2000-01 season, and then was officially fired following the season. You can read about the messy ordeal here.
After a season off, she was back coaching, this time at LIU Brooklyn, where she built to back-to-back seasons of 20-plus wins by the end of her six-year stint before moving on to Monmouth. She got Monmouth to 20 wins by year three, then proceeded to her current role at Forhdam. She’s been fairly successful with the Rams, winning 20 games six times in eight years and making a second NCAA Tournament with them this year after winning the league championship.
Last season: Fordham went 24-10 overall and 12-4 in the Atlantic-10 — good for third in the conference. They beat Pitt and St. John’s in non-conference play, but also lost by more than 30 to UCLA. The Rams beat Rhode Island in the first round of the A-10 women’s tournament before losing to Gaitley’s former employer, St. Joe’s in the quarterfinals. Fordham made the WNIT and defeated Harvard and Drexel, but fell to Virginia Tech, 81-50 in the third round.
Last game: The Rams won the Atlantic-10 title following an upset over 1-seed VCU, 62-47. Bre Cavanaugh led the way with 22 points and seven boards, while Mary Goulding added 19 points. They didn’t shoot particularly well from the floor (37.2 percent), but made 24 of 26 free throws and won the turnover battle 8 to 18.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Cavanaugh’s 17.3 points per game leads the team, and her rebounding is second-best on the team at 6.4 per game. She’s not all that accurate from three at just 31.4 percent, but takes a ton of shots from out there (229 attempts so far).
If Syracuse wins: They’ll move onto the second round to face the winner of the South Dakota State vs. Quinnipac game. As a 3-seed, it’s pretty essential Syracuse advances to that game, especially at home.
If Syracuse Loses: Would be a devastating end to a fun season that could’ve been a whole lot more.