Men’s Basketball Falls to Last Place in A-10


With a loss this past weekend, Men’s Basketball fell to the bottom of the conference. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

With the University of Dayton having clinched the Atlantic 10 conference regular season title last Friday, one question remained over the weekend: who would finish in last place? Tied for last place coming into Saturday, Saint Joseph’s University defeated Fordham Men’s Basketball 73-69 in Hagan Arena to drop the Rams into sole possession of 14th place with two games remaining in A-10 play.

Saturday’s contest against Saint Joe’s marked the sixth time Fordham would be playing on leap day. Since 1926, the Rams entered with a 3-2 record all-time on leap day. However, head coach Jeff Neubauer’s attention was focused on building the offensive momentum from its previous game against the University of Rhode Island when the team scored 75 points and was nearly seconds away from a huge upset win. Neubauer described the offense as “several bounds forward,” while adding that a well-balanced attack was crucial to increasing the team’s scoring offense.

Coming into the season, the Rams were predicted to 14th and last for the third straight year. The team selected to finish just ahead of them in 13th place? That would be Saint Joe’s, with the Hawks entering Saturday’s game having lost nine of their last 10 A-10 games. The match-up also featured the best scoring defense in Fordham against the last place scoring defense of Saint Joe’s.

Early on, the Rams were able to take advantage of a woeful Hawks defense, opening up the game on a 7-0 run in the first three minutes. Fordham never gave up its lead for the duration of the first half, with senior guard Erten Gazi scoring a team-high eight points to pace the Rams. As for Fordham’s defense, it was able to hold a perimeter-oriented Hawks offense to just 25% from beyond the arc.

The Rams held just a one-point lead at halftime. Then, the second half began, and Saint Joe’s offense decided to wake up. Led by the A-10’s leading scorer in guard Ryan Daly, the Hawks pushed the pace and opened up holes in Fordham’s defense. Daly had 13 points in the second half, and Saint Joe’s benefited from its aggressive play by getting to the free throw line 27 times in the second half alone.

The Hawks would lead by as many as 16 points despite shooting 8-of-38 from the three-point line for the entire game. Fordham attempted to stage a last minute rally which saw junior guard Josh Colon going on a personal 7-0 run to cut the deficit down to two points with three seconds remaining. Ultimately, the Hawks were able to make enough free throws down the stretch and earned their second A-10 win of the conference season.

With the loss, Fordham falls to 7-21 on the year, and more importantly, they now find themselves all alone in last place at 1-15 in A-10 play. Fordham Men’s Basketball is back in action on Wednesday, when they travel down to the nation’s capital to face George Washington University at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on WFUV 90.7 FM and see exclusively on ESPN+.