Heading into Wednesday night’s matchup with No. 13 Indiana University of PA (17-2), women’s basketball senior guard Sierra Fordham has been able to score double digits in four of her last five games, including a career-high 20-point outing against Gannon University (12-8) last week.
“Offensively, I’m not sure what it is, but it just seems I have the hot touch right now,” Fordham said. “I’ve been in the gym constantly with some of my teammates and my shots have just been falling lately.”
In that time frame, The Rock went 2-3 to take their overall record to 10-10 with an 8-7 record in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) play. Fordham has averaged just over 24 minutes per game in those five games, while shooting 50 percent from the field and going six for 11 from beyond the arc.
“She has been patiently waiting for her time to come and its arrived,” SRU women’s basketball head coach Bobby McGraw said about Fordham. “Everything she is getting right now she deserves because she’s earned it. Nothing has been given to that girl.”
After spending the majority of her time on the bench and in and out of games over the past three seasons for the Green and White, Fordham is truly enjoying her new found playing time that she has been getting in recent weeks.
“It is a wonderful opportunity and experience,” Fordham said in regard to her boost in minutes. “I’ve talked with coach and I’m just doing what I need to do so he’s been playing me on the floor more.”
What Fordham says she has learned over the past few years is mostly patience and waiting for her time to be called to be put in the starting lineup.
“Discipline, patience; a lot of patience, and work hard,” Fordham said regarding what she has learned over the past few seasons. “I mean if the opportunity presents itself then go for it.”
In her first three seasons with The Rock, Fordham averaged just 1.6 points per game while battling injuries and playing behind terrific players such as Lexi Carpenter. Last season she appeared in a career-high 26 games and started in seven of those games, while averaging 3.3 points per game in the 2016-17 season. Fordham has appeared in every game this season except the Virginia State University (17-2) game and has started in the past nine games heading into Wednesday night.
As a senior, Fordham said she believes everyone looks at her as a leader on the team because she is older and a lot of communication on the court starts with her as a guard. Coach McGraw said that going forward Fordham will be the team’s starting point-guard for the rest of the season and going into the playoffs. Being coach McGraw’s first player he recruited as head coach four years ago, McGraw said he has seen Fordham grow and become the great teammate she is today.
“She was literally the first player I recruited as a head coach,” McGraw said on Fordham. “Rarely do you not see her smiling. She has an infectious personality and that’s what not a lot of people outside of this program know how personable she is.”
Currently, The Rock sits in the sixth and final playoff spot in the PSAC West, with just seven games remaining including Wednesday night’s game against IUP. Fordham said her and the rest of the team are very excited about the opportunity to reach the playoffs for the first time since her freshman year three seasons ago.
“I really think we’re going to make playoffs,” Fordham said. “I have a lot of confidence in this team and they have a lot of confidence in themselves.”
After the team faces IUP at home on Wednesday, The Rock will then host Seton Hill University (16-5) who currently sits in fourth place in the PSAC West with the game starting at 1:00 p.m.