They are young these Fordham Rams but the fight they displayed this month was not evident Wednesday night at home up at Rose Hill. The first half ended with a Fordham 34-23 lead over Saint Joseph’s. And then that February fight that kept the Rams in A-10 Conference games was not evident.
A tale of two halves for the Rams. They scored a season low 18 points in the second half. The Hawks dominated the boards and scored 43 points in the second half which snapped their eight-game losing streak on the road with a 66-52 win.
But this a young Fordham team of freshmen and they are not quitters despite a 2-13 record in the conference and overall at 11-17. Coach Jeff Neubauer knows these continue to be growing pains and hopes there is more of a fight with three games remaining before the start of the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship Tournament at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on March 13th.
Neubauer said about the Hawks, “Second half exposed us. Their effort to go often rebound was really impressive.” Those rebounds made it difficult for the Rams as the Hawks continued to score and went on a 23-0 run. There was that moment during that stretch when Fordham looked as if they lost the fight.
Like a championship fight, the first half was Fordham in six rounds. Saint Joseph’s won the last six rounds but got a unanimous decision with their ability to shoot and dominate in the second half. It wasn’t pretty for the Rams and it was evident.
But at this juncture of the season, you would expect more. Neubauer said his team played their best basketball this month with wins at UMass, Rhode Island and a loss at Richmond. However, a difference in this loss was his Rams not making a run and losing that fight.
Again, this time of year is no time to lose that fight. Every team at the bottom of the standings has an opportunity to extend their season in the conference tournament.
“Talked after the game was poise,” Neubauer said. “We have teams make runs on us this year and our team continued to fight. We didn’t have it. We certainly have to do that and do a better job.”
Fordham, despite their record, did not resemble a team coming in with the fourth best percentage in the conference in three-point shooting. With the exception of freshman Ty Perry, 10 points, who has been granted more playing time, there was no fight.
Nick Honor, the other freshman who has been averaging a team high 16.0 points per game was also shut down and finished with 10 points.
But Neubauer never shows quit. He hopes that second half will not carry over at Davidson Saturday afternoon. His Fordham Rams did not shoot well. The fight was over in the second half and the growing pains continued
“I did compliment them on our first half, He said. “Then talked about poise which was the story of the second half. St. Joe’s shot well.”
Let’s not forget that every game in this conference leaves no room to lose the fight.
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