As Fordham and Richmond tipped off for their Tuesday night matchup at the Rose Hill Gym, both teams worked through their playbooks in almost perfect tandem, hinting that these teams were a lot more evenly matched than expected.
At first, the battle was in the paint, Fordham relied on Ohams receiving alley-oops, while Andre Gustavson and Nathan Cayo made strong cuts to the basket. Defensively, both teams were intense. Antrell Charlton was a standout presence for Fordham early on, getting a big block on Cayo. Physical play on both sides led to a score of just 6-6 after 5 minutes of play.
As both teams locked down the paint, the game then switched to Fordham and Richmond trading blows from beyond the arc. While both teams initially struggled from deep, Fordham eventually settled into their best shooting performance of the season. The Rams finished Tuesday 41% from deep. Four Rams shot at least 33% from three point range.
“We have a lot of guys that can shoot the ball,” Coach Neptune said. “I thought we put it together in spurts. I think it’s something we need to continue to utilize.”
Antrell Charlton and Kyle Rose led the effort beyond the arc for Fordham while Darius Quisenberry led all Rams scorers with 23 points. Heading into halftime, Fordham trailed by just four points. Heading into halftime, Fordham prepared to shoot two free throws after Jacob Gilyard was called for a technical foul at the buzzer.
As the second half opened, Darius Quisenberry quickly tied the game with a made free throw and three point jumper. Notched at 37, the Rams were in a position to possibly come away with the upset.
However, in the second half, Jacob Gilyard kept pressing, and the Rams had no answer for him.
As expected from the NCAA all-time steals leader, Gilyard played a major part in stopping the Rams offense with his incredibly disruptive style of play. Gilyard recorded three steals against Fordham, as the Rams turned the ball over 22 times in total. These turnovers, along with some foul trouble early in the second half, gave the Rams a hole too big to climb out of late in the game. According to Coach Neptune, Gilyard’s offensive performance was also a huge obstacle for his team.
“Gilyard was unbelievable,” Neptune said. “Obviously with 31 points, 6-10 from three, but more importantly, whenever they needed a tough bucket or were in a tough spot he just showed up for them. They played really well. I thought we played well in spurts, but unfortunately couldn’t get it done.”
With this loss, the Rams drop to 2-2 in Atlantic 10 play, and 5-2 at home overall. Fordham will continue their homestand on Saturday when they take on the first place Davidson Wildcats.