BRONX, N.Y. – Things are a changing on Rose Hill on the campus of Fordham University. And in historic ways.
Heading into the start of the 2022-23 women’s college basketball season, Fordham had reached 80 points in just three games since the start of the 2018-19 season.
The Rams have reached that plateau twice in as many attempts on the new season.
The latest came on Nov. 10 as three players reached double figures in scoring and two other players just missed out by netting nine points each as the Rams improved to 2-0 on the season by rolling all over visiting St. Peter’s 81-39 inside historic Rose Hill Gymnasium.
The Peacocks fell to 0-2 on the season with the loss.
Asiah Dingle was the unlikeliest of heroes on the night for the Rams as the five-foot, four-inch sparkplug did things a player of her stature is not expected to do.
Remember Spud Webb?
He spent two years at North Carolina State before enjoying more than 10 years in the NBA, despite standing just five-feet, six-inches tall and shocking the world by winning the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1986 while with the Atlanta Hawks.
“She’s athletic … she has a knack of finding the ball … some people are gifted like that,” Fordham interim coach Candice Green said of Dingle.
That might turn out to be this season’s biggest understatement.
Dingle finished with a game-high 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds in the contest. She also found the time to set a new Fordham school record with 10 steals in the game, surpassing the previous mark by two steals.
The two steals that pushed her to atop the school charts were both things of beauty and came in a span 25 seconds early in the fourth quarter.
The first saw the diminutive Dingle pick the ball away St. Peter’s Jada Leonard and during the scramble to corral the loose ball put on some sliding and dribbling skins akin to fame Harlem Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemon. Dingle gained control and rifled a pin-point pass underneath to Kaitlin Downey for an easy layup.
A short time later it was all Dingle as she again picked the ball away from a Peacock and drove to the basket before laying the ball in for her final points of the contest as her team held an insurmountable 67-27 lead with 8:55 to play in the game.
St. Peter’s, which lost its season opener 73-39 on Nov. 7 at Seton Hall, scored on a shot by Jazmine Carter from the right win to grab the early lead just 26 seconds into the game against the Rams. Dingle ended the Peacocks’ lead by tying the game with a layup 32 seconds later.
The two teams would trade baskets over the next 60 seconds before Fordham’s Anna DeWolfe connected on a three-pointer from the left corner to put the Rams in front 7-4 with 7:46 left to go in the first period.
It was a lead Fordham would not relinquish the rest of the way. St. Peter’s held off the blowout by pulling to within 12-11 when Endya Greene spun through the lane and got the roll with 4:02 left in the quarter.
Fordham used a 23-9 spurt in the second quarter to balloon its lead to 39-20 at the intermission. The Rams poured things on by outscoring the Peacocks 42-19 in the second half, including a commanding 24-7 run in the third period to virtually put the game out of reach with 10 minutes left to play.
“We got a little sloppy early in the game,” Green said, “… but we’re focusing on getting two feet in the paint and attack, attack, attack.”
Dingle finished the game by connecting on seven of 14 shots from the floor and nailing all five of her free throw attempts to account for her scoring output. Her eight total rebounds include two on the offensive end while also tallying three assists in the game. She also added one blocked shot for good measure.
She was joined in double figures by DeWolfe and Downey, who finished with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Megan Jonassen and Collen McQuillen each chipped in with nine points for the Rams.
Jada Dapaa, a transfer from Saint Francis (Penn.), who was voted the defensive player of the year in the Northeast Conference last season, led Fordham with nine rebounds while contributing eight points in the game.
A total of 11 players cracked the scoring column for the Rams.
St. Peter’s got scoring from seven different players, but Carter was the lone Peacock to reach double figures with her 11 points in the game. Leonard, who is just a freshman, paced St. Peter’s with six rebounds and her eight points were the next best scoring output for the Peacocks on the night.
Fordham returns to action on Nov. 13 when the Rams travel to College Park, Md. to tangle with nationally-ranked Maryland and will travel to Princeton Nov. 16 to tangle with the Tigers. The Rams return to Rose Hill Gym on Nov. 20 when they are scheduled to play host to Wagner.
St. Peter’s, meanwhile, returns to action on Nov. 18 by playing at Morgan State. The Peacocks also play at Coppin State (Nov. 20), Central Connecticut (Nov. 23) and Wagner (Dec. 1) before playing at home for the first time by entertaining Hampton on Dec. 7.
A native of Bismarck, N.D., Ray is a graduate of North Dakota State University where he began studying athletic training and served as a student trainer for several Bison teams including swimming, wrestling and baseball and was a trainer at the 1979 NCAA national track and field championship meet at the University of Illinois. Ray later worked in the sports information office at NDSU. Following his graduation from NDSU he spent five years in the sports information office at Missouri Western State University and one year in the sports information at Georgia Tech. He has nearly 40 years of writing experience as a sports editor at several newspapers and has received numerous awards for his writing over the years. A noted sports historian, Ray is currently an assistant editor at Amateur Wrestling News.