Fordham Men’s Basketball Falls in Two Overtimes to University of Maryland Eastern Shore

A tough shooting night for the Rams results in the first home loss of the season



Antrell Charlton, FCRH ’24, shoots a three-pointer over Nathaniel Pollard, UMES ’22.


A close game featuring two overtimes ended in a disappointing defeat for the Fordham Rams at the hands of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) Hawks, 75-73 on Nov. 19. The Rams now stand at 2-2 on the year, blundering an opportunity to reach three wins, which would have pushed them past last season’s dismal 2-12 record. Head Coach Kyle Netpune’s postgame diagnosis: “These guys (UMES) confused us.”

UMES maintained an adaptable offense and defense, putting a lot of pressure on the decision-making of star guards Darius Quisenberry, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’22, and Antonio Daye Jr., Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’23. In many respects, the on-court leadership delivered for the Rams in the first half. Quisenberry and Daye orchestrated cuts and drives that left big men wide open around the rim. Accurate passing penetrated a sloppy zone defense by the Hawks early on. 

However, UMES switched up their sets on both ends multiple times, and the Rams couldn’t keep up. Solid defense and active passing on offense for Fordham soon turned into desperate drives and, fortunately, good free-throw shooting. 

Despite the challenges, the Rams played with heart against the hot-shooting Hawks.

Despite the challenges, the Rams played with heart against the hot-shooting Hawks. UMES shot 41% from beyond the 3-point line, courtesy of deep threes by UMES bench players. Contrasting this statistic to Fordham’s 24% three-point shooting on the night, it becomes a credit to Neptune’s leadership and game-planning that the Ram’s managed to stay in the game for so long. 

At first glance, it appeared that UMES was in no position to lose. They came out in the first half shooting 52% from the field, putting up 33 points to the Rams’ 28 by halftime. Solid free-throw shooting by the Rams early on was critical to keeping UMES from running the score up. Quisenberry and Daye, however, couldn’t lift the lid off the basket, and the Rams had to rely on forward Chuba Ohams, GSAS ’22, to carry the offensive load. His free throw shooting and interior positioning were crucial in keeping the deficit as small as possible. 

The second half deflated the Rams. By way of multiple Fordham defensive lapses, UMES slashers got to the rim, stretched the floor with a couple of wide-open threes, and beat down the Rams inside. Foul call after foul call sent Zion Styles, UMES ’22, to the line —  he would end the night hitting 13 of his 15 free throw attempts. 

Ohams, Daye, Quisenberry and Kyle Rose, FCRH ’24, who put up a career-high 22 points in his last game against St. Thomas, responded to the defensive meltdown with much-needed offense as the clock wore down and the game was on the line.

With nine minutes and change left in the game, Daye lit up on offense and scored six points with an assist on the side in just three minutes, rallying Fordham’s offense. Quisenberry hit a big three, and with two minutes left in regulation knocked down back-to-back interior shots. Following a deep three response by Dom London, UMES ’23, the UMES lead was shaved from six points to four. 

Clutch free throws by Rose with a minute left would tie the game 59-59. With twenty seconds to go in the period, Antrell Charlton, FCRH ’24, missed a potential game-winner, but a dubious out-of-bounds call gave Fordham a second chance. Ohams hoisted a buzzer-beater but missed off the back of the rim as the horn went off.

Five hundred fans erupted and the entire gymnasium shook.

The first overtime period was electric and both teams dialed up the intensity, even getting chippy at times. Quisenberry and Daye had numerous exchanges with the Hawks players, even after a first-half technical foul was called on both Quisenberry and London.

Da’Shawn Phillipp, UMES ’23, hit a crushing three and silenced the Rose Hill Gymnasium halfway through the period. Daye responded by tying the game off a layup with just 0.9 seconds remaining. He scored 4 of Fordham’s 9 points in the period, assisted on a Quisenberry three and sent the game to a second overtime period, 68-68.

Fordham, exhausted from 45 minutes of play, faltered on defense. UMES was tired as well, and both teams began to scramble. The offense for Fordham was less than stellar. Early in the second overtime period, the Rams missed three consecutive layups and turned the ball over. Luckily enough, they got it back and hit Quisenberry for the go-ahead three. Five hundred fans erupted and the entire gymnasium shook.

With two minutes left, Neptune desperately delayed the game. Straight from the classic coaching playbook, Neptune argued a trivial technicality regarding the shot clock, so much that the referees convened. Neptune won his team a free time-out, but it was all for naught. A turnover by Daye led to a Hawks’ fastbreak and Styles threw down the biggest dunk of the night. On the very next play, Quisenberry missed a quick three and fouled Styles down the court. Styles hit two free throws to take the lead for the Hawks, and London iced the game with a final free throw, 3 seconds left on the clock. 

“Hopefully, we are motivated to be more together next game.” Kyle Neptune, men’s basketball head coach

The horn sounded and the Rams had lost, 75-73. Afterward, Neptune stressed the point: “You win, you lose, you gotta play the next game … We didn’t win, we lost. Hopefully, we are motivated to be more together next game.”

As far as losses go, playing two overtimes and losing in the final minutes is crushing for morale. A major factor throughout the game was the poor shooting by Fordham’s guards. Shooting just 2-11 from three as a team, the off night for Quisenberry and Daye only compounded Fordham’s offensive woes. 

Ohams put up 12 points and 10 rebounds, averaging a double-double so far this season. Quisenberry and Daye chipped in 25 and 20 respectively, leading the scoring among both teams. Styles finished the game with 19 points and London scored 18. Crucially, UMES had 18 assists to Fordham’s 11. Both teams turned the ball over excessively, Fordham 17 times and UMES 18 times. Beyond numbers, Neptune attributed the loss to the Rams lack of teamwork and togetherness. 

The Rams’ later played in the Gulf Coast Showcase Tournament in Estero, Florida. Their first-round contest resulted in a victory against the University of Akron on Nov. 22. The Rams played two more games and aimed to move on from this home loss. Their time in Florida was a general success: The Rams broke through two wins, an important milestone for this budding team.