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Rebounding Troubles Sink Fordham for Fifth Straight Loss to George Washington, 64-53

With Chuba Ohams back in Fordham’s starting lineup against George Washington, the Rams looked to snap their four game losing streak, two games of which Ohams sat out due to a knee injury. While having their leading rebounder and defender back in the lineup on Sunday was definitely a plus, questions arose around how Ohams will fit into a Rams offense that changed slightly in his absence; would Ohams return to his role as floor general, or will Fordham maintain the high volume three point shooting we saw in his absence?

As Fordham and GW tipped off, it looked like Fordham would return to the latter strategy, but to decent effect against the Colonials. After George Washington got out to a 6-0 lead off of two quick three pointers, Fordham was able to get off a 7-0 run of their own to take the lead. 

Defensively, Fordham played a mix of zone and iso, clearly trying to limit touches to Joe Bamisile and James Bishop, GW’s hottest scorers as of late. Even with Ohams back in the lineup, Coach Neptune was willing to reach deep into his rotation early on, continuing to experiment with bench options like Ahmad Harrison, Abdou Tsimbila, and Rostyslav Novitskyi.  Zach Riley earned his first points as a Fordham Ram with a three point shot in the first half. 

While Fordham ran a decent, yet underwhelming offense, GW really began to pick apart the Rams defensively in the first half, most notably in the rebounds department. In the first half, GW racked up 9 offensive rebounds, giving them plenty of time for second, third, and fourth chance scoring opportunities, while also limiting the amount of time Fordham was able to control the ball. 

After a 14-3 GW run, Fordham was able to get off a few quick shots to cut the lead down to just 7. Darius Quisenberry, normally Fordham’s main scoring option when they’re in a pinch, had just two points at the break, and was 1-6 from the field. 

As the second half opened, Fordham quickly changed their defensive gameplan, running a full man on man. While Bishop and Bamisile would have more room to work, the Rams would be able to lock down other options such as Ricky Lindo Jr, who had caused Fordham some trouble in the first. The switch reduced GW’s offensive rebounds, but forced the Colonials to move into a give and go style of offense that was very effective. 

The biggest positive change for the Rams in the second half was Darius Quisenberry, who scored 9 points in the opening 10 minutes of the second to help cut the Rams deficit to just two points. Two possessions later, Quisenberry would sink another layup to give Fordham a 42-40 lead, their first lead since 7-6 in the first half. The Rams seemed to completely regain control with a 49-44 lead with 6 minutes left in the second half. 

However, as Fordham’s iso defense faded, James Bishop began to heat up. In the final 6 minutes of the game, George Washington would go on a 20-8 run, with Bishop scoring 12 points in that span. Fordham would continue to close the gap with some three pointers from Quisenberry and Kyle Rose, but were not consistent enough in the final stretch to regain the lead. 

With this loss, the Rams’ are now 0-5 since the departure of Antonio Daye. They will look once again to right the ship against Rhode Island in the Bronx on Wednesday.