For 38 minutes the Fordham Rams stood toe-to-toe with the top team in the Atlantic- 10 conference, before ultimately losing to the Dayton Flyers 75-66 at Rose Hill Gym, in the Bronx.
After battling Dayton to a 39-39 tie in the first half, where the Rams made nine three pointers and concluded the half on a 9-0 run, Fordham continued on pace with the Flyers until the 5:26 mark when Dayton took a 61-60 lead on a layup by Xeyrius Williams. The Flyers would end the game on a 14-6 run to cement the victory.
Fordham took a five point lead 58-53 at the 11:34 mark of the second half on an Antwoine Anderson jumper and free-throw, and the Rams continued to work hard defensively holding the Dayton’s offense to only four points over the next five-minutes to hold onto their slim lead. Their hard work on defense took a toll on the Fordham offense, which went scoreless during the same five-minute period, until Joseph Chartouny scored two of his eight-points with 6:31 left in the game.
The Dayton defense held the Fordham offense to only 12 points during the last 11:30 of the game.
Coach Jeff Neubauer conceded that “it is incredibly hard to score on Dayton, coming into the game, they have the ninth best defense in the country and just getting a basket is really hard.” Coach Neubauer continued by pointing out how Dayton “uses their defense to go on runs by simply not allowing teams to score for four or five minutes.”
Despite their offensive struggles Fordham had the chance for a comeback in the last minute of the game when Joseph Chartouny, with an opportunity to cut the lead to three missed two free throws with 1:04 remaining. The Rams let another opportunity to make the game a one-possession contest get away when with 0:36 Chartouny was called for an offensive foul taking away another opportunity for an exciting comeback by the Rams against a top-rated A-10 opponent.
When asked about his team’s performance, Coach Neubauer, stated that “he was proud of the way his guys competed and made this a great game.” He noted that the difference in the game was that “Dayton made more plays down the stretch.”
At 9-13 overall, 3-6 A-10, Fordham will look to continue improving on their performance when they travel to Philadelphia to take on St. Joseph Hawks Saturday night.