Chartouny Helps Men’s Basketball Soar to Victory at Johnny Bach Classic


The men's basketball team was unable to fend off a strong Saint Joseph's team. Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram

By Tyler Freire

The men's basketball team was unable to fend off a strong Saint Joseph's team. Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram
Sophomore guard Joseph Chartouny was a big reason for the Rams’ success at the Johnny Bach Classic, putting up 47 points over the three games. Andrea Garcia/The Fordham Ram

The Fordham men’s basketball team continued its 2016-17 season over the weekend, hosting the 2016 Johnny Bach Classic in the historic Rose Hill Gym. Johnny Bach was head coach of the Rams during the middle of the 20th century and went on to serve as an assistant coach for those feared Chicago Bulls teams in the 1990s. He was known as the architect of a defense led by one of the best defensive players in NBA history, Dennis Rodman   

The Rams kicked off the tournament with a win against Fairleigh Dickinson, with junior forward Christian Sengfelder and graduate student guard Javontae Hawkins providing the bulk of the offense. Sengfelder scored a game-high 18 points, going four-for-eight from behind the arc and adding seven rebounds, while Hawkins netted 16 points, going a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line and adding six rebounds.

Redshirt junior guard Antwoine Anderson and sophomore guard Joseph Chartouny also reached double figures for Fordham, scoring 11 points each. Chartouny added five assists and four steals. This was also the first game of the year in which the Rams outrebounded their opponent, with sophomore forward Jesse Bunting leading the way with a career-high 11 boards.

The Rams saw little resistance in the contest, never trailing in the game and going 22-for-26 from the free throw line. They also tallied double digit steals for the second straight game. It all added up to a victory in the first game of the Johnny Bach classic.

Fordham’s next opponent was a hot Saint Peter’s squad, which had just put up 90 points in its first round game. However, the Rams defense stepped up in a big way, holding the Peacocks to just 35 percent from the field and 12 percent from behind the arc. The Rams also forced the Peacocks into 26 turnovers, recording 15 steals.

Saint Peter’s jumped out to a 9-3 lead 3:21 into the game before the Rams offense found its footing. Fordham went on to score 14 straight points to take a 17-9 lead, finishing the run with a Chartouny steal and layup midway through the half. Chartouny scored six of his team’s 14 points over that stretch.

A Chazz Patterson layup at the 9:27 mark stopped the Fordham run, and the Peacocks trailed 20-13 with 7:57 left in the first. The Rams then ran off eight consecutive points to take a 28-13 led following a Chartouny three-pointer.

At the half, the Rams led 33-20. They then opened the second half with eight unanswered points, four them from Chartouny, to build a 41-20 lead less than five minutes in.

After Saint Peter’s cut into the Fordham lead with 15:51 left, the Rams exploded for a 15-2 run to take a commanding 56-24 lead with 12:25 on the clock. The Peacocks managed to cut the deficit to 22 at one point, but that was as close as they got for the rest of the game.

The Rams blocked a season-high four shots in the victory, and all 15 players who dressed saw minutes. Head Coach Jeff Neubauer was pleased with the result. “This was our team’s best defensive performance of the year,” he said.

The Rams would have to build on that defensive performance as they hosted Lipscomb in the Johnny Bach Classic’s championship game. They led by just three at the break, 35-32, but the Bison tied the game at 35 on a Josh Williams three-pointer just 20 seconds into the second half. Somewhat oddly, that three seemed to switch the momentum in the Rams’ favor, as they would go on a 13-1 run. Chartouny put up 10 points over that stretch, capping it with a three to give the Rams a 48-36 lead with 15:37 remaining.

Lipscomb managed to cut the Fordham lead down to six later in the half with 7:17 left. However, the Rams answered with a 10-2 spurt to jump back out to a 14-point lead, 72-58, following a Sengfelder three-pointer at the 5:11 mark.

While a George Brammier dunk cut the Lipscomb deficit to 12, the Rams kicked off an 8-1 run 26 seconds later, helping them take their biggest lead of the day, 80-61, with 2:12 remaining.

The Rams went on to win the game by a score of 85-69, giving them their first in-season tournament championship since the Chaminade Tournament in 1987, back when the current team members were not even born yet.

Sengfelder led the way for Fordham, scoring a game-high 23 points and grabbing five rebounds. Chartouny added 22 points, going eight-for-11 from the field with five rebounds, five assists and five steals. Chartouny averaged 15.7 points per game over the three-game tournament, shooting 68.0 percent from the field (17-25) with 14 assists and 13 steals.

Antwoine Anderson also put up 15 points for the Rams, while Nemanja Zarkovic added nine points, five rebounds and two steals.

Neubauer praised his team for turning in such consistent efforts over the weekend. “For our guys to put in that many minutes in such a short time…and to see so many guys contribute, it was a great thing.”

The Rams also hosted Rider on Wednesday afternoon, winning 73-62. Chartouny played 36 minutes, scored 17 points and dished out eight assists, leading the team in all three categories.

The Rams are now 5-1 on the year, winning five straight games after an opening loss to ETSU. They will return to action this Saturday at home against the University of Texas at Arlington. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.