Philadelphia, PA - Third-seeded Fordham clinched a spot in the 2013 Buick Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Championship final with a 66-55 victory over tenth-seeded Temple on Sunday afternoon at Hagan Arena on the campus of Saint Joseph's University.
The win not only improves the Rams record to 24-7, but it gives them their first berth in the A-10 Finals and the victory is the 500th for head coach Stephanie Gaitley. Fordham will face fourth-seeded Saint Joseph's in the finals on March 16th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ESPNU.
Temple led 19-10 with 9:28 to go in the first half. Fordham rallied with a 17-7 run, taking a 27-26 advantage when Arielle Collins drained a three-pointer with 1:16 on the clock.
The game remained tight at the outset of the second stanza before Fordham was able to gain some breathing room with an 11-2 run to push ahead 50-39 with 8:38 to play.
Temple rallied and was able to pull within five at 53-48 when Rateska Brown nailed a three-pointer with 5:29 to go.
That would be as close as Temple would get as Fordham scored eight of the next 10 points, going ahead 61-50 on a Collins three-pointer.
Erin Rooney led all scorers with 19 points, while Collins had 16, connecting on four shots from beyond the three-point line. Marah Strickland had 12 points and Samantha Clark had 11 points. Rooney grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for the Rams.
Natasha Thames and Brown each had 15 points for Temple and Victoria Macaulay chipped in with 14 in the loss. Thames matched Rooney with 11 rebounds and Macaulay hand nine boards of her own.