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September 16, 2020
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Syracuse women’s basketball NCAA tournament opponent preview: What to know about Fordham

first_imgNo. 12 Syracuse (24-8, 11-5 Atlantic Coast) hosts Fordham (25-8, 13-3 Atlantic 10) at the Carrier Dome in the first round of the NCAA tournament at 1 p.m. on Saturday. SU is the No. 3-seed in the Portland region and earned an at-large bid after falling to No. 3 Notre Dame in the ACC tournament semifinals two weeks ago. Fordham, the No. 14-seed, last played on March 10, when it defeated Virginia Commonwealth in the A10 tournament championship. The Rams are currently riding a 12-game winning streak and haven’t lost since Jan. 27, with nine of those wins coming by double-digits.Here’s what to know before Saturday’s matchup.All-time series: The series is tied, 2-2Last time they played: Syracuse defeated Fordham, 76-54, on Nov. 28, 2015, in the Las Vegas South Point Thanksgiving Shootout. Alexis Peterson paced the Orange with 25 points, eight assists and five steals on just eight shot attempts. The Rams had three scorers with 12 points including Lauren Holden, who was a freshman at the time and is the only current player on either roster who played in the teams’ previous meeting. SU began the fourth quarter up just 5 points but opened the period with a 16-0 run to break the game open. The Fordham report: Fordham comes into Saturday’s game as one of the hottest teams in the tournament. Despite their dozen straight victories and 25 total wins, though, the Rams have played just one contest this season against a ranked opponent. That matchup came on Nov. 25, when they fell to then-No. 10 Texas, 72-54. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFordham enters the NCAA tournament ranked 82nd in RPI, top in the Atlantic 10 but behind 11 teams in the ACC. The Rams have the 7th-best scoring defense in the country at 53.9 points per game, nearly 14 points fewer than the Orange allow on average. Offensively they are not as strong, averaging just 60.5 points per game — 264th in the nation. The Rams are led by redshirt sophomore guard Bre Cavanaugh, who is averaging 17.3 points and 6.4 rebounds. Senior forward Mary Goulding is Fordham’s best player however. The New Zealand native is the only other player on the team who averages double-figures in scoring and also leads the Rams in 3-point percentage, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks.This is the third NCAA tournament berth ever for Fordham, which first earned a berth in 1994 after winning the Patriot League. Its most recent appearance came five years ago, when the Rams reached the tournament for the first time under head coach Stephanie Gaitley. They earned the 10-seed that year and led 7-seed California late in the game, but missed out on their first NCAA tournament win after the Golden Bears hit a go-ahead shot with 14 seconds left.How Syracuse beats Fordham: The Orange are the better team in this matchup, and they need to make use of their talent advantage early. A good way to do this would be to shut down Fordham’s offense, which shouldn’t be too hard. The Rams are a generally-poor shooting team, having shot just 39.4 percent from the field this season. If they have any chance at upsetting the Orange, it’ll be done through 3s. Fordham has taken the 22nd-most 3s in the country this year, and if Syracuse’s 2-3 zone can hold firm on those triples, it’ll be in good shape.Should SU be able to shut down the Rams on the perimeter, it’ll grab the lead early and run with it. Fordham is a team that hasn’t lost since Jan. 27, so once the Orange jump ahead, it very well may be for good. Offensively, Syracuse boasts a top-20 offense to counter the Rams’ top-10 defense. Even if Fordham has a hot shooting day from outside, SU should be able to run by the Rams with its up-tempo, high-scoring style of play. The Orange have the best offense Fordham has seen all season, and that’ll pose an issue for their in-state foe. Stat to know: 53.9 – The number of points Fordham allows on average per game. That not only tops the Atlantic 10, but is fewer than any ACC team allowed per game this season. The Rams’ defense features three players with 30 or more steals and is coming off two games in which it allowed only 81 points combined. The best defense statistically that the Orange faced this season was Central Florida’s, which allows 55.6 per game and held SU to a then-season low 57 points on Dec. 22.Player to watch: Bre Cavanaugh, guard, No. 10While Mary Goulding’s skillset may make her Fordham’s most complete player, if the Rams upset the Orange, it’ll be Cavanaugh leading the way. The redshirt sophomore earned second-team All-Atlantic 10 honors last year in her first season at Fordham after transferring from California. This season, she’s been even better. Cavanaugh has the ability to explode offensively on any given night, and is playing her best basketball of the year. She’s averaging 24 points over her last four contests, including a season-high 29 points against Massachusetts in the quarterfinals of the A10 tournament. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on March 22, 2019 at 1:40 pm Contact Eric: erblack@syr.edu | @esblack34last_img read more

September 8, 2020
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Wike Bags ‘Power of Sports’ Award from AIPS

first_imgErnest Chinwo in Port HarcourtThe International Sporting Press (AIPS) wednesday in Brussels, Belgium, honoured Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, with the ‘Power of Sports’ award.Wike was nominated for the award by the International Sports Press Association-Africa (AIPS-Africa) headed by veteran Nigerian sports journalist Mitchell Obi. Witnessed by sports personalities and journalists from across the globe, the award to Wike was for his remarkable fidelity in raising the bar of sports matters and using sports as a catalyst for development.The event took place at Le Plaza, Brussels and was performed by the President, AIPS, Mr Gianni Merlo and Obi. Sports journalists from 108 countries witnessed the event.Presenting the award to the Rivers State governor Obi, said Wike was being recognised for the use of sports as a tool to effectively engage the youth population in the continent.He urged Wike to sustain his commitment to sports development as more youths would be empowered in the state.In his acceptance speech, Wike, dedicated the award to God, his immediate family and the people of his state who have supported his efforts at creating a new Rivers State.Wike noted that the award by the AIPS would spur him into greater commitment to the service of Rivers State and humanity.Also yesterday, Wike presented a lecture titled: “Peace and Progress through Sports in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria” wherein he canvassed that sport has functions beyond its simplest form as a game to encompass a cost effective means for addressing a broad range of socio-economic challenges that impact on peace and human progress.He said: ” Arguably, there is no social activity that can match the role sport plays in breaking down barriers, bringing people together across nations, promoting understanding, positively engaging the energy of youths and in mobilising support for social causes.“Therefore, even at the simplest level, sport not only improves the mental and physical health of participants; it also helps to inculcate such timeless values as honesty, hard work, obedience, respect, team work, discipline, and leadership in the youths.“And as you know, these are all useful values for creating peaceful and progressive societies as well as for achieving national peace and basic development goals, including poverty reduction”.He said states in the Niger Delta region recognise the special power of sports for promoting peace and development in the region.The governor noted that in addition to sports policies, Niger Delta states all have ministries or departments exclusively responsible for sports development.He said: “As a result of these efforts at sports development, our country’s national sports teams are always dominated by sports men and women from the region, who are competing with the rest of the world and bringing laurels to Nigeria.“Apart from giving hope for a brighter future, unemployed youths are also getting increasingly engaged and empowered through the various sport platforms the region has provided.”Amongst some of the prominent Rivers State indigenes who reacted to the AIPS award to Wike, included PDP National Chairman , Prince Uche Secondus and Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Austin Opara. They all commended Wike’s strides in sports development in Rivers and the country as a whole.PDP National Chairman , Prince Uche Secondus, said the honour was deserved in view of the developmental strides of Wike. He said the governor has made Nigeria proudFormer Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Austin Opara, said the award is a recognition to Rivers State and a challenge to the Rivers State Governor to continue to work for the people.“These engagements have successfully turned most of our youths away from violence and other anti-social behavior, and thereby enhancing peace and progress at different levels of society”.Wike said in the last three years years of his administration, the Rivers State Government has invested in local and international football development, national and international wrestling competitions, Polo, golf and the development of critical sports facilities.He said: “I wish to reiterate our resolve to continue to tap the benefits of sport to advance social cohesion, peace and progress in Rivers State, the Niger Delta, and the country, as well as across Africa.“May I therefore use this opportunity to call on international donor organisations, sports charities, as well as the private sector to support our efforts with facilities, training and sponsorship.”PDP National Chairman , Prince Uche Secondus, said the honour was deserved in view of the developmental strides of Wike. He said the governor has made Nigeria proudFormer Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Austin Opara, said the award is a recognition to Rivers State and a challenge to the Rivers State Governor to continue to work for the people.Senator Representing Rivers West Senatorial District, Senator Osinakachukwu Ideozu said the governor’s sports programmes have empowered youths, hence the need for the International recognition.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more