Fordham defeated St. Bonaventure 80-74 this afternoon. The Bonnies we led offensive by Chad Venning and Charles Pride while Japhet Medor and Kyle Rose led the Rams. Bonaventure played most of today’s game from behind as the Rams grabbed a late first-half lead and never surrendered it. Here’s how everything went down this afternoon.
The teams came out hot offensively as Antrell Charlton cashed in a triple on the game’s first possession. Coach Mark Schmidt’s game plan was clear early: feed Chad Venning. The redshirt junior was responsible for the first seven Bonaventure points including a traditional three-point play. The Rams would fight back with Will Richardson going one of two from the line and Charlton got a midrange to fall. Pride responded with a three off an Abdou Tsimbila block before Richardson hit one of his own. The Bonnies led 10-9 at the first media timeout.
Both teams tightened things up defensively following the first break. Elijah Gray and Noel Brown traded layups before Gray was perfect from the free throw line. Jahmere Trip followed that with a jumper to push the Ram lead to three. Brown, Adams-Woods and Moses Flowers answered for the Bonnies with a mini 6-0 run to retake the lead. Said lead would not even last a possession as Kyle Rose bagged a three to knot the game at 18 and then got to the cup for two on the next possession.
The back-and-forth nature of the game continued as Flowers and Japhet Medor traded threes along with Rose and Venning trading buckets. Venning then made one of his two free throws before Josh Rivera splashed a deep two. The Rams led 27-26 with under eight minutes to go in the first half. Admas-Woods put the Bonnies back into the lead with a pair of free throws before the game entered a nearly two-minute scoring drought. That would be broken by Ogheneyole Akuwovo who banked in a deep two as the shot clock expired. Adams-Woods immediately answered with a layup. The Bonnies led 30-29 as the game took an injury timeout with just over five minutes to go in the first.
Noel Brown got to the hole out of the break before Medor earned his way to the line after a made layup. He missed his free throw as the Bonnies remained in front. Brown extended that lead back to three as he cashed a pair of free throws. Tripp went 1/2 on the following possession before Gray knotted the game at 34 with a layup. Admas-Woods then knocked one in from beyond the arc as the crowd got into it in the Reilly Center. However, the Rams answered with Medor splashing a triple of his own.
Fordham kept the foot on the gas as the Rams followed a Daryl Banks miss with another triple from Romad Dean. Schmidt would call the timeout with his team trailing by three with about a minute to go. The Bonnies got sloppy out of the timeout as a turnover led to a transition layup. Fordham was on an 8-0 run. Pride ended that run on the following possession with a put-back layup. The Rams would throw the last punch of the half with Dean fighting for a bucket in the paint. Fordham ended the first half on a 10-2 run and took a 44-39 lead into the locker room.
Venning led all scorers at the half with 12 points. Medor followed close behind with 10. Other notable first-half scorers were Adams-Woods with nine, Brown with eight, Rose with seven and Gray with six. The Rams shot 17/32 (53.1%) from the field, 6/16 (37/5%) from deep and 4/7 from the free throw line. The Bonnies went 13/29 (44.8%) from the floor, 3/10 (30.3%) from three and 10/11 (90.9%) from the charity stripe. Bonas outrebounded Fordham 19-15 while turning the ball over six times compared to the Rams’ three.
The second half opened with seven consecutive empty possessions before the Bonnies finally scored on their third try on their fourth possession. Venning made a nice move and rolled to the hoop for the slam. The Rams would find their first points of the second half as Charlton knocked down a pair of free throws. Medor then attacked the rim in transition for the quick score and the Rams suddenly led by seven. Flowers would put a much-needed end to the Fordham 16-4 run with a triple as the crowd got involved one again. The crowd noise aided a steal and bucket by Pride to pull the Bonnies within two. Rose got the cup for two to momentarily stabilize the game.
Adams-Woods worked his way to the free throw line and made both before Gray and Venning traded layups. The Rams grabbed a big defensive stop before Dean rained in a triple to push the lead back to five. Flowers responded out of the timeout with a floater but was answered by Richardson going one of two from the line. Assa grabbed his first points of the game with a foul-line jumper but was once again answered by Fordham. This time it was a pair of free throws from Rose. The Rams led 58-54 with under 10 to play.
Fordham once again capitalized after a missed Bonaventure shot as Tripp got the hole in transition. The Rams continued to pressure the Bonnies as Rivera grabbed a layup off a turnover and made it a 7-0 run. Venning ended the run with a pair of free throws to cut the Bonaventure deficit to 62-56. That’s where the score stood as the game reached the under-eight media timeout in the second half.
Pride knocked down a pair of free throws out of the timeout to cut the Ram lead back to four. However, Fordham once again punched back with a three by Rose off an offensive rebound. Venning tallied his 20th point of the game on the following possession before Pride hit a massive three from the corner. The Ram lead was cut to two and Keith Urgo called the timeout with 4:3- remaining in the game.
Fordham responded following the timeout as Medor grabbed a tough jumper in the lane to push the Ram advantage back to four. Venning grabbed another layup which again caused the crowd to rise. The fans inside the RC would not be standing long as Rose knocked in a straight-away three to push the Ram lead back to five. Pride responded back with a three of his own and the crowd roared back to life. Schmidt wanted the timeout to set up an offensive play as the clock ticked under two minutes. Fordham led 70-68.
The Rams fouled Banks following the timeout which led to him netting both and tying the game at 70. The Bonnies showed the Rams a full-court press following the free throws which the Rams broke with a homer ball. Tsimbila got the hook shot to go later in the possession to put the Rams back on top. Adams-Woods got to the hole on the ensuing possession but saw his shot rim in and out. Bonas and Pride though they had a steal on the defensive rebound, but the play would be reviewed. Possession went to the Rams.
Fordham capitalized on their next possession as Medor easily got to the cup for two. Banks drew a foul on the next possession but only made one of his two free throws. The Bonnies then began to play the foul game. Gray was fouled and hit both free throws to put the Rams up five with 22.0 seconds left in the game. Pride cashed in on a traditional three-point play on the next possession which made it a two-point game with 13.7 second remaining.
The Bonnies would once again foul, this time it was Charlton. He would cash both his free throws to push the lead back to four. Schmidt called his final timeout which resulted in a rushed shot by Venning. Rose grabbed the board and was fouled. His makes were a formality as the score went final. Fordham took this one 80-74.
Venning led all scorers this afternoon with 22 points while Rose led the Rams with 18. Other notable scorers include Pride with 18, Medor with 16, Adams-Woods with 11 and Gray and Flowers with 10 each. The Rams shot 28/55 (50.9%) from the floor, 9/25 (36.0%) from deep and 14/22 (63.6%) from the line. The Bonnies went 28/55 (50.9%) from the field, 6/17 (35.3%) from three and 20/22 (90.9%) from the free throw stripe. Both teams grabbed 34 rebounds and turned the ball over nine times each.
Coach Schmidt was displeased with his team’s defensive effort this afternoon. “They killed us in the open court,” said Schmidt, “When we broke down, they made us pay.” He also touched on the difficulties of constantly playing from behind. “We never got ahead and playing from behind is always difficult,” said Schmidt.
The head coach also addressed the offensive struggles of Banks. “He’s not playing well. We need our good players to play better,” said Schmidt. He also added that he has not even thought about taking Banks out of the starting lineup. Schmidt also stated the game plan was to run through Venning offensively and that it worked with 74 points.
Venning also touched on the defensive struggles his team faced today. “We need to keep the ball in front of us and do better on the defensive end. That’s it,” said the redshirt junior. He also took some positives out of today’s loss. “We didn’t just lay down, we fought to the very end,” said Venning. The Bonnies will be back in action Wednesday night in the RC against 3-0 Rhode Island.