Fordham took St. Bonaventure to overtime Wednesday night up at Rose Hill. Coach Jeff Neubauer, after a 62-55 loss in overtime, said his team played their best game of the year.
But it was the Fordham defense that kept them in this one.
The Rams lead the Atlantic 10 in scoring defense and rank 15th in the NCAA and that came up strong again allowing the Bonnies to 21 points in the first half.
The offense was a difference which attributed to this loss, and In this conference, you need to score. The Rams scored 22 points in the first half, were 19-for- 58 from the floor, 12-for-33 when shooting for three.
Saturday, Fordham scored a season low 39 points in a loss at Saint Louis.
“Our biggest offensive challenge is we cannot make two point baskets,” Neubauer said. “
And making those baskets are so important in the A-10, a high scoring league.
Fordham dropped their seventh game in their last eight. Their overall mark is 7-13, and the Rams stand next to last in the Atlantic 10 Conference at 1-7.
Saturday, they travel to Dayton (18-3) the top scoring team in the conference, ranked 7th in the nation. So, the Rams will need to score and not rely solely on their defense.
But the Rams did step up and send the game into overtime. Antwon Portley, limited in his second game back from injury, forced overtime with a running one-handed shot with 2.8 seconds left.
He also had a key 3-pointer down the stretch that tied the game at 53.
Thing is, the Bonnies got the ball and made their shots, outscoring Fordham 9-2 in the extra period. Dominick Welch, a career high 22 points made three free throws that got the Bonnies a two-game sweep against the Rams this season.
Again, the Rams need to convert their baskets. Though, Portley, does help with his return to the floor.
“He made clutch shots; that’s who he is,” said Neubauer.
Despite those offensive struggles the Rams in three prior games saw their freshmen and sophomores account for 82.6% of their scoring, 138 of 167 points.
Neubauer said about this loss, “The offensive rebounds we gave up, hard to win, 12 rebounds in 25 minutes.”
And if there is any chance of giving Dayton a game, Fordham has to score. Their defense has not been the issue.
Neubauer was asked about that Dayton game that awaits. Saturday. He said it will be a challenge.
“Good challenge as a team and as a coach,” he said. “ My feeling is that tonight is that game we’ve played really talking about our defense. Our defense had gone to an amazing level.”
Another conference loss for Fordham. But one they hope to build on with Dayton.
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