By Andrew Posadas
Coming into last night’s game against Davidson College, Fordham Men’s Basketball had finally won their first Atlantic 10 conference game last Wednesday. Dubbed the “Amherst Assault,” Fordham dominated the University of Massachusetts, 85-67. Junior guard Antwon Portley led the way with 22 points in a much needed victory.
The Rams went on to host Duquesne University this past weekend. It looked like Fordham was on the verge of its second straight conference win. Sophomore forward Ivan Raut made a three-pointer in the corner and was fouled before halftime, which resulted in a four-point play. Fordham took full momentum of the game and extended its lead to 16 at halftime, 40-24.
Up 51-33 with a little over 14 minutes remaining, the Dukes responded with two huge runs in the second half. Duquesne went on a 17-3 run in a five-minute span, cutting Fordham’s lead down to four, 54-50. The Rams would regain their composure to extend their lead back to nine, but their offense would suffer a late drought. Through the final seven minutes of regulation, Duquesne outscored Fordham 24-7.
Fordham did not recover and would ultimately fall to Duquesne, 74-66. In the postgame press conference, head coach Jeff Neubauer said that while the win against UMass was “the best we’ve played all year,” the team played even better in its first half against Duquesne. Neubauer credited Duquesne’s press defense in the second half for Fordham’s offensive struggles down the stretch.
Despite the close loss, Fordham looked to continue their solid play against Davidson at home on Tuesday night. It was a defensive battle at the start, with both teams needing almost three minutes to score its first points. A layup by freshman Nick Honor with a little over 10 minutes gave Fordham a 14-12 lead.
It would be the last time the Rams would lead for the rest of the game.
Davidson star guard Kellen Grady led all scorers with 15 first half points while Ivan Raut had a team-high nine points for the Rams.
Only down single digits in the final minute before halftime, Davidson guard Luke Frampton hit two three-pointers in the final 40 seconds to extend their lead at the half, 36-25.
The Rams shot under 40 percent in the first half and were out-rebounded by Davidson, 19-15.
In the second half, Fordham seemed to find a rhythm on both sides of the court. Freshman guard Jalen Cobb made a layup to cut Davidson’s lead to five with 15 minutes remaining, 38-33.
Unexpectedly, junior forward Chuba Ohams was ejected shortly after receiving two technical fouls in the following minute. Davidson would take advantage of Ohams’ absence in the paint and held a double-digit lead throughout.
Fordham would make one last stand, going on a 10-0 run to decrease Davidson’s lead to seven heading into the final four minutes. However, the run would be for naught. The Wildcats were able to close out a conference road victory, beating Fordham 77-69. Honor and fellow freshman Jalen Cobb both scored 16 points, in a losing effort.
The loss now drops Fordham to 10-14 and 1-10 in the Atlantic 10 conference. On the bright side, Men’s Basketball has officially won more games this season than it did last. The Rams continue conference play this Saturday afternoon at the University of Rhode Island.