The 2019 Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship was up for grabs between the conference’s top two teams. #1 VCU and #2 Fordham shared the Regular Season crown and met on the court one more time in search of championship silverware.
This was VCU’s first appearance in the A-10 Championship game in school history.
Sydnei Archie and Tera Reed put VCU up 4-0 after winning the tip-off. Fordham missed their first 3 shot attempts until Bre Cavanaugh knocked down a three-point basket. VCU’s offense went cold for over 4 minutes while Fordham went on a 9-0 scoring run.
Danielle Hammond broke the ice thanks to a lob assist by Nyra Williams at the basket. After going 1-of-7 from the field, VCU connected on their next 3 shots including a three from Kseniya Malashka. Fordham’s lead was cut to two at 13-11 at the end of the first quarter.
Goulding Leads Fordham
Mary Goulding added to Fordham’s lead with back to back three-pointers. Fordham was moving the ball at a high tempo that led to Goulding putting the Rams up 8. VCU had difficulty early in the second quarter guarding the paint with Fordham sprinting inside for close-range chances.
VCU’s paint presence came alive with Hammond and Sofya Pashigoreva establishing in the post. Malashka scored with Pashigoreva on a 4-0 run to put VCU within two once again. Turnovers were costly for the Black & Gold with 6 that turned into 9 points for Fordham.
Get In The Hoop!
Kaitlyn Downey took advantage of VCU turnover that turned into three to start a 5-0 scoring run late in the second quarter. Cavanaugh put Fordham up 30-23 from the free throw line. VCU shot 38% from the field and held the lead for only 3:34 in the half.
Scoring was still an issue for VCU after halftime. The Rams went 0-for-4 to start the third quarter and Tera Reed had a turnover. Fordham’s zone defense kept the pressure on VCU while Holden and Heremaia increased the lead to 12.
Fighting The Defecit
Coach O’Boyle burned a timeout and came up with an inbound play the resulted in And-1 basket for Hammond. Hammond used the post to her advantage through contact and made the additional free throw. Williams knocked down a VCU three to give the Rams a bit of momentum on their next possession. There was no basket scored in the final two minutes of the third.
Goulding kept her good shooting for Fordham with her third three pointer and four free throws to start the fourth quarter. Cavanaugh added two layups to keep Fordham ahead and VCU frustrated defensively. Foul trouble became a concern for Archie and Malashka picking up their fourth personal foul.
Title Dreams Shattered
Malashka fouled out as time winded down to the final moments. The deficit was too great for a VCU comeback as Fordham won the A-10 Championship 62-47 in the A.J. Palumbo Center. Bre Cavanaugh led Fordham with 22 points and Mary Goulding scored 19 including 3-of-5 from three. This is Fordham’s second A-10 Tournament championship in school history.
VCU was held to 39% shooting from the field by Fordham and went 3-of-13 from three. Danielle Hammond led the Rams with 13 points and 5 rebounds. Taya Robinson scored 9 points and Kseniya Malashka had 7 points. Hammond and Robinson were named to the Atlantic 10 All-Tournament Team.