Bronx, NY – They hoped to avenge an earlier setback at the Reilly Center. Unfortunately for the Bonnies, they ran into a red hot Fordham team and came out on the short end 78-63. The game at a packed Rose Hill Gymnasium saw Bona fall to 13-14 (7-7). Fordham, now on a five game win streak, improved to 21-5 (9-4). The courtside observations from the place Fordham coach Keith Urgo calls ‘Rose Thrill’.
First half: The first media time out had yet to come when Bona coach Mark Schmidt called time. Fordham scored on their first four possessions en route to a 9-2 lead.
Stops and composure. Bonnies needed both and got them. Defensive stops slowed the Ram momentum. Settling down and running the offense prevented Bona from being ‘sped up’ At the under 12 time out the score wss knotted at 15.
Keith Urgo has his club doubling Daryl Banks III on the perimeter. Good move since Banks III hit for 29 against the Rams last month in Olean. Bonnies grab a one point lead. Definitely looking different than the opening minutes.
Bona lead guard Kyrell Luc made several good decisions off steals. Realizing he did not have fast break numbers, Luc settled for a half court set. With a four point lead and looking to expand it, Bona missed two free throws then saw a Ram miss turn into an offensive rebound dunk. On the road those plays come back to haunt you.
Turnovers start to appear. Bona’s miscues become Fordham transition points. Rams lead by four at the under four time out. Momentum has shifted back to Fordham.
Banks III scores his first points hitting two from the line with 1.8 seconds remaining. A late run allowed Fordham to take a seven point lead into the break.
Half: 37-30 Fordham
Offensive efficiency: Fordham 109, St. Bona 88
Second Half: The first four minutes after intermission are vital, say the coaches. Tonight you get the feeling they will be make or break for Bona. Fordham came out the aggressor building an 11 point lead. Once again, Bona responded , forcing a few turnovers and finding Chad Venning down low. At the 16 minute mark, Fordham had a five point lead but the Bonnies had that good start.
Fordham responds with two treys and a dunk to get the lead back to 12. Rams run some effective four out with Antrell Charlton and Darius Quisenberry hitting from long range. Inside, Abdou Tsimbila finished off a few nice screen and rolls.
A major emphasis coming in was Venning avoiding foul trouble. The 6’ 10 Sophomore picked up his fourth early in the half. Outside shots were not falling for Bona. Inside, Fordham is guarding the rim. It all added up to an 18 point deficit with nine minutes left.
At the under eight time out, Bona had six second half field goals. Fordham had four from beyond the arc. Venning fouls out with 4:32 to go. Fordham’s lead grew to 23. The Rams were dominant in every phase tonight.
A few minutes left, Fordham had the reserves in. They closed out the 78-63 victory which in many respects seemed worse than a 15-point differential.
Offensive efficiency: Fordham 111, St. Bona 90
Leading scorers; Fordham, Darius Quisenberry 15 points, St. Bona , Chad Venning 15 points.
Bona shot 44% from the floor 2 of 9 (22%) from three. Fordham hit on 50% of their field goal attempts while going 9 of 23 (39%) from long distance.
Rams held a huge 39-24 rebounding advantage. Bona grabbed only four offensive rebounds on the night.
Bona did enjoy a 36-30 advantage on points in the paint.
Bona had 12 turnovers to 16 by Fordham. It seemed that each Bona miscue came at the worst time when the Rams were on a run.
Banks III scored 29 against the Rams in Olean. On this night he scored seven, all from the line as he was 0 for 7 from the field.
Next up for Bona is a home game Sunday against George Washington. The Colonials lost to George Mason, also on Wednesday, and have dropped five of their last six outings.
“The second half we played as good a defense as we played all year. This team is as connected as any team I have been with.” – Keith Urgo
“Great crowd and atmosphere. They (Fordham) were just more aggressive. They were plus fifteen in rebounding. They are a veteran, mature team and were more physical.” – Mark Schmidt