In the next game after one of its biggest wins of the season, an overtime victory against UMass, Fordham Men’s Basketball fell to a talented Saint Joseph’s team on Saturday by a final score of 82-60. The Rams have now lost both games against the Hawks this season.
Coming into the game, the big story was the absence of senior guard and leading scorer Mandell Thomas, who was sidelined due to injury.
The game started in Fordham’s favor. After about two-and-a-half minutes of play, the Rams were the first on the board via a layup from senior forward Ryan Rhoomes. Less than a minute later, freshman Joseph Chartouny came up with a big steal and fed the ball to sophomore Christian Sengfelder on the right corner for a three-pointer. The Rams would end up going on a 7-0 run to start the game, with Rhoomes grabbing an offensive rebound and a put-back layup moments later.
Shortly thereafter, Saint Joseph’s came back with a vengeance. Hawks guard Shevar Newkirk put his team on the board with a three from the left wing. While the Rams would respond with another Rhoomes bucket to make it 9-3, they turned it over on their next possession due to a bad pass attempt under the basket, which let Saint Joseph’s get out in front for an easy fast-break layup to make it 9-5. After good shooting performances from Newkirk on their next two possessions, the Hawks suddenly held a 13-9 lead.
The Rams would battle back, sinking back-to-back layups from Sengfelder and junior guard Jon Severe to make it even at 13. Over the next seven minutes, however, the Hawks went on a 23-11 run, pushing the score to 36-24 with 2:45 left to play in the first half. At the end of the half, the score was 40-30 in Saint Joseph’s favor.
Fordham was strong out of the gate in the second half. Chartouny hit a three to bring the Rams within seven, though it would go right back to 10 after a three-point play for Hawks senior forward Isaiah Miles. The Rams would cut the lead down to single digits a couple more times in the ensuing minutes, but a Miles layup with 17:36 left once again put Saint Joseph’s up by 10, and the lead did not fall below 10 for the rest of the game.
The Rams were out of sorts on both sides of the ball. They shot just 39 percent from the field and went just 8-29 from three, while Saint Joseph’s shot 51 percent and 11-24 from three. Saint Joseph’s outrebounded Fordham 41-28. While the Rams were able to force 14 turnovers, they committed 14 of their own. Head coach Jeff Neubauer expressed particular displeasure for this aspect of the Fordham loss.
“That’s been the story of our season,” he said. “We don’t have value for the basketball.”
The Rams had two players tied at 16 points, Rhoomes and Sengfelder. Sengfelder’s performance was a lone bright spot for the Rams.
“We had two guys – Ryan and Chris – that were able to produce offensively,” said Neubauer. “We need to have a night where we have five, six guys produce offensively.”
The Rams will hope to put this game past them and try to salvage a .500 record in Atlantic 10 conference play. To do so, they will have to go 6-2 over their final eight games. Their next game will be at home against St. Bonaventure at home on Wednesday at 7 p.m.