Tuesday, March 12, 2024

A10 Tournament Day 1: Fordham Opens With A Bang


Abdou Tsimbila makes an early up in Fordham’s win. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Fordham Rams opened the 2024 A10 Tournament at Barclays Center on Tuesday afternoon with a stirring comeback win over the Davidson Wildcats, 71-63, in overtime. 

Fordham entered the tournament as the 12th seed, while Davidson was No. 13, so it was pretty even to start, if not a little slow to develop, likely due to the 11:30 AM tipoff. Davidson found a rhythm at the end of the first half, as they took a 27-19 halftime lead. Fordham was held to 22.6 percent, or 7-31, from the field in the first half. 

The early stages of the second half were more of the same, as Davidson opened up a 13-point lead, 37-24, at the 14:49 mark.

Davidson maintained that lead, as they were up 44-31 at 11:23, but then Fordham started to chip away. The Rams went on a 13-3 run capped by a Will Richardson jumper from the top of the key to make it a 3-point game, 47-44, with 7:32 left.

In just about four minutes, after  forcing a turnover, Josh Rivera made a hook shot to bring Fordham even at 52 with 3:34 left.

Davidson would respond and take a four-point edge, 58-54, when Reed Bailey made a hook shot at the 2:21 mark. (Pictured below)

However, Fordham was not finished, as they found themselves trailing by just two point, 61-59, with 23 seconds left after Bailey missed the second of two free throws.

With plenty of time, and with the memory of how they beat North Texas at the buzzer at Barclays on December 10, they got the ball to Kyle Rose, who took it to the hoop along the baseline and cashed in a layup to tie it at 61 with 2.3 seconds left.

Kyle Rose going to the basket. Photos by Jason Schott.

The anticipation in the building as it went in.

Fordham kept the momentum going in overtime, as Charlton trained a three-pointer 18 seconds into it, followed by a jumper from Abdou Tsimbila and a fast-break dunk from Richardson at the 3:37 mark to make it 68-61.

Incredibly, Fordham outscored them 10-0 in the extra session until Connor Kochera made a layup to provide the 71-63 final.

Fordham Head Coach Keith Urgo said afterwards, “I want to thank all the Fordham Rams for coming out and supporting us. It feels like more of a home court advantage right now than Rose Hill, quite honestly. I want to give a shoutout to Coach McKillop and Davidson, specifically Grant Huffman. What I said to him at the end, man, what an unbelievable career he’s had up to this point. If he ends up coming back to Davidson - I’m hoping not, quite honestly, because he’s one of the toughest kids I’ve seen in my coaching career.

“Credit to them. They came out and they just kept plugging away and kept firing. They were very physical in the first half. But for our guys, we talked about it at halftime. Got 20 minutes of everything we got. All you can ask as a coach is to have your guys give it up for each other as much as they can. And if they can look themselves in the eye in that locker room after the 40 minutes - or 45 in this case - and know that they gave each other every ounce of energy that they could have, you’ve got to be comfortable with a win or loss.

“They went out there and they played a little bit more freely. We didn’t hit very many shots in the first half. But we knew - honestly, it’s carried over from the last couple of games. We’ve been struggling from the field. But our defense and our rebounding has been as good as it has been all year long the last two games going in. Now it’s three games in a row.

“That’s what we pride ourselves on, defending and rebounding. And we knew, once we catch fire, which we’re capable of doing, now if we put those two things together, we can be a really good team. I hope we continue to score that way, because I know at the very least we’re going to give you every ounce of energy on the defensive end and rebounding.”

No. 12 Fordham will face No. 5 VCU on Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s A10 Tournament Semifinal, which was won by VCU.

No. 10 La Salle 61, No. 15 George Washington 60: In similar fashion to the one that opened the day, LaSalle reversed a 30-23 halftime deficit in a game that went down to the wire. 

GW had a 57-53 lead with 4:31 remaining before Khalil Brantley made a jumper and Daeshon Shepherd made a pair of free throws with 3:19 left to tie it at 57. Jhamir Brackus put LaSalle up two after he made a jumper at the 2:23 mark before Darren Buchanan Jr. drained a three-pointer at 1:56 to make it 60-59. It stayed that way nearly until the end, but Brackus buried a jumper with 20 seconds left that made it 61-60 LaSalle.

LaSalle was led by Brickus, who had 21 points on 9-16 from the field, including 3-5 on three-pointers, eight rebounds and three assists. Brantley had 15 points (6-17 FG, 3-7 threes), nine rebounds, and an assist. 

GW was led by James Bishop IV, who had 19 points (5-18 FG, 4-8 threes), two rebounds, and an assist. Buchanan had 14 points (3-7 FG, 1-2 threes), six rebounds, and six assists.

LaSalle will take on St. Bonaventure tomorrow, Wednesday evening, at 5:00 p.m.

No. 14 Saint Louis 74, No. 11 Rhode Island 71: Saint Louis raced out to the early lead in this one, as they led 24-12 just over midway through the first half on their way to a 41-32 halftime edge. 

Rhode Island opened the second half with a 22-11 run capped by a Jaden House three-pointer, as they took a 54-52 lead at the 11:11 mark. 

However, unlike the two teams that blew leads in the early games, Saint Louis would bounce back and they would go on a 12-3 run to take a 71-67 with 27 seconds left on a layup from Gibson Jimerson, who then made three free throws after that to seal the win.

Saint Louis was led by Jimerson, who had 26 points on 8-22 from the field, including 3-10 on three-pointers, with five assists and four rebounds. Terrence Hargrove Jr. had 18 points (6-9 FG, 2-4 threes) and four rebounds. Bradley Ezewiro had 10 points (5-7 FG) and 11 rebounds to give him a double-double, along with four assists.

Rhode Island was led by House, who had 18 points on 8-12 from the field, including 1-3 on three-pointers, with three rebounds and an assist.

No. 14 Saint Louis will take on No. 6 Duquesne on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday's action opens with two teams who did not need to play on Tuesday, No. 8 George Mason and No. 9 Saint Joseph's.

No comments:

Post a Comment