Even with Fordham’s continuation of their large starting lineup, the Rams had some trouble handling Osun Osunniyi. As Chuba Ohams drove to the hoop on Fordham’s opening possession, Osunniyi took to the air for an impressive strip block, a play that would set the tone for a dominant bonnies victory.
Early on, Fordham looked almost evenly matched against a Bonnies team that has struggled as of late. Both teams created a lot of trouble defensively at the perimeter, forcing guys like Kyle Lofton and Darius Quisenberry to continue driving to the basket. Antrell Charlton, who usually leads the way as Fordham’s glue guy, had a hot hand in the first half. Despite a lot of deep shots not falling, Charlton and the rest of the Rams got a lot of open looks in the corner, an area the Bonnies have had trouble guarding as of late. However, the most effective way the Rams kept it close early on was limiting offensive rebounds from St. Bonaventure. Outrebounding the Bonnies 8-7 offensively in the first half, Fordham was able to limit too many second or third chance buckets.
Despite the solid defensive intensity, turnovers were the Bane of Fordham’s first half. Turning the ball over 4 times in the first half, the Rams let up several large Bonnies runs that saw them go down by as much as 10. As the Bonnies picked apart the Rams defense, Fordham continued to experiment with their defensive sets, shifting and then immediately ditching a 2-3 zone. Offensively, Fordham just could not match the Bonnies on the fast break, and entered halftime 11-34 from the field, 3-17 from deep. The Bonnies, with a five point lead, were able to maintain control of the game with 3-6 shooting from deep in the same period.
As the second half opened, the Bonnies caught Fordham off guard by maintaining that same offensive intensity we saw in the first, and were able to get off to a very quick 11-0 run before Chuba Ohams was able to tip in a put-back for Fordham’s first points of the half. Still not relying on the three ball, the Bonnies found a lot of their buckets via top tier ball movement and making some backdoor cuts. For Fordham, Antrell Charlton continued to get decent looks, but with Ohams 3-10 from the field, and Darius Quisenberry sidelined with a leg injury for the second half, it was hard for Fordham to have a solid second option in this one. Fordham would finish the second half with just 8 made field goals.
As for the Bonnies, all the momentum flowed their way in the second half, fueled largely by the crowd in Olean. With every bucket or major stop from the Bonnies, the Reilly Center absolutely erupted. The largest roar came with a little more than two minutes left in the game, when Coach Mark Schmidt put four bench players out on the floor, including fan favorite Quadry Adams. Adams would record 4 points in 8 minutes against Fordham, while Dominick Welch would lead all scorers on the day with 21.
With this win, the Bonnies improve to 5-4 in A-10 play, while Fordham falls to 3-7. The Bonnies will take on SLU in this week’s #FridA10, while Fordham heads to Pittsburgh to face Duquesne on Saturday.