Sunday, December 10, 2023

NABC Brooklyn Showcase: Fordham Wins It At Buzzer

The celebration was on for Fordham after the buzzer beater. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Fordham Rams outlasted the North Texas Mean Green, 60-59, on Sunday afternoon at Barclays Center to open the NABC Brooklyn Showcase.

Abdou Tsimbila won it on a dunk as the clock hit 0.00. Because of the nature of the play, the referees had a lengthy review after to determine when it released his hand or when it was in the cylinder.

It appeared Tsimbila had it in with one-tenth of a second on the clock.

This completed a comeback from 12 points down at halftime for Fordham, who improved to 5-5 on the season.

North Texas led 35-23 at the end of the first half when they closed it on an 11-2 run.

Fordham responded with a 10-0 run to open the second half, and it was 35-33 NT with 16:42 left.

Fordham took the lead at the 13:22 mark when Will Richardson made a layup that put them up 40-38, which made it a 17-3 Rams run by that point.

North Texas would bounce back and take a four-point lead, 47-43, on a Jason Edwards layup at the 9:47 mark.

That would be the biggest lead from that point on, as it went back and forth with Fordham never leading by more than one point.

Fordham took a 58-57 lead with 1:58 left when Jephet Medor made a pair of free throws. 

North Texas got it back when Edwards made a layup with 1:09 left to make it 59-58.

It would stay that way until the walk-off buzzer beater for Tsimbila.

Fordham coach Keith Urgo said of the win, “I’m really proud of the way we played the second half. I think it was one of the best defensive efforts that we’ve had the three years I’ve been coaching here, and we needed that. We kind of got back to our identity that last 20 minutes, which is tough, nasty, defending and rebounding, not worrying about making and missing shots. We talked about that at halftime; we talked about how we were playing a little too soft, and they were taking it to us, and then the next 20 minutes that’s as good and physical as we’ve played since I’ve been here, and that’s what it needs to be for this team, and every day we’re getting better and better and better.”

Urgo said of the final play, “It was drawn up exactly how we like it,” he said to laughter. “We were just trying to get down on the high-ball screen. We knew they would most likely blitz or switch and make “Japhet (Medor) go to his left, but that’s the direction he likes to go. They did a great job of getting him cornered, not letting him turn the corner and they forced him into a trap, and Abdou rolled hard to the rim, sat in front of the rim - he’s been getting better understanding where he is on the court. You can see his development is through the roof his last several games, you’re starting to see how talented and the potential that he continues to have, and he’s not even close to to what he is going to be…There’s no one you’d like to see have an opportunity to win a game than this guy.”

Fordham was led by Antrell Charlton, who had 10 points in 4-9 shooting, including 2-3 on three pointers, with four rebounds and four assists. Five Fordham players followed with eight points apiece - Tsimbila, Medor, Josh Rivera, Will Richardson, and Ogheneyole Akuwovo.

PHOTO ESSAY: Fordham wins it, and they get to celebrate again after the review confirmed Tsimbila’s dunk:

The referees at the table during the review.

Fordham celebrated after their win was confirmed.

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