Men’s Basketball Goes Cold Offensively Against Saint Louis

The+Rams+struggled+to+find+the+bottom+of+the+net+against+the+Billikens.+%28Courtesy+of+Fordham+Athletics%29

The Rams struggled to find the bottom of the net against the Billikens. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

Andrew Posadas, Managing Editor

After earning its first Atlantic 10 win against George Washington University, Fordham Men’s Basketball seemed to have figured things out on offense. However, Fordham was brought back down to earth over the weekend by Saint Louis University, as the Billikens beat the Rams 55-39 and held head coach Jeff Neubauer’s team to just 31% shooting.

Considering that Fordham has been battling attrition all season, it would have been easy for the team to pack it in and accept what many believe is already a lost season, but behind a career-high 22 points from sophomore guard Jalen Cobb, Fordham snapped a five-game losing streak to begin conference play. The Rams beat GW 59-54, shooting 45% from beyond the arc in the process. Fordham would look to take that momentum on the road against the reigning A-10 conference tournament champions in Saint Louis.

The Billikens presented a much different challenge than the Colonials did, especially with their dynamic duo of guard Jordan Goodwin and forward Hasahn French. Goodwin and French came into Sunday afternoon’s matchup as the only teammates in Division I basketball to average a double-double in points and rebounds. Fordham’s solid defense would certainly be tested against a Billikens team that averages over 70 points for the season.

From the opening tip-off, Saint Louis asserted its aggressiveness and made a concerted effort to win the battle down low in the painted area. The Billikens opened the game on a 13-0 run, while Fordham missed their first eight shots and went scoreless for nearly the first seven minutes of regulation. The only Ram to have success was the aforementioned Cobb, who scored nine points and accounted for more than half of Fordham’s first half total.

Saint Louis never allowed its lead to be cut back down into double digits, dominating Fordham on its way to a comfortable 32-16 lead at halftime.

Fordham’s offense began the second half much like it did the first, missing its first five shots before senior guard Antwon Portley knocked down a three-point shot. It was Portley’s first game back since injuring his hamstring back on Dec. 20 against James Madison University. Portley played 16 minutes in his return, scoring seven points and grabbing four rebounds. Unfortunately, having Portley back could not stop Saint Louis from dominating the paint, outscoring the Rams 24-12 in that category.

The Rams shot 37% in the second half and were unable to take advantage when the Billikens went on a scoring drought for nearly six minutes. Goodwin was as good as advertised, dropping 17 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. The game was never in doubt, and the Billikens won their fourth A-10 game this season, moving to 15-5 on the year.

As for the Rams, Cobb led all Ram scorers with 12 points and added two assists. Sophomore guard Ty Perry played every minute on Sunday, scoring five points with seven rebounds.

Fordham now drops to 7-12 on the season and are now 1-6 in the A-10. Fordham Men’s Basketball will be back in action this Wednesday against St. Bonaventure University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and can be seen exclusively on ESPN+.