Fordham Men’s Basketball Falls 83-69 to St. John’s Red Storm

The Rams’ comeback effort in Queens fell short and the loss snapped a three-game win streak



Chuba Ohams dunks over Red Storm defenders. Despite their efforts, the Rams lost by 14 points to St. John’s.


The Fordham men’s basketball team lost to the St. John’s University (SJU) Red Storm on Sunday, Dec. 1, 83-69. The Rams narrowed the Johnnies’ lead to single digits but could not overcome their opponent’s offensive onslaught. 

As a former assistant at Villanova University, Fordham Head Coach Kyle Neptune has coached in more games against St. John’s than he has for Fordham. Neptune said that competing against the Red Storm as the Rams’ leader felt “very familiar.”

“St. John’s just plays so hard the entire game. They never stop,” Neptune said. “They’re going to kick it ahead and keep coming, and we just weren’t ready for that. I thought, at times, we buckled in, but we haven’t played against anyone who does that for 40 minutes.”

The Red Storm’s leaders overwhelmed Fordham’s defense.

St. John’s entered the contest as heavy favorites led by Big East stars Julian Champagnie, SJU ’23, and Posh Alexander, SJU ’24. Before their game against Fordham, the two averaged 21 and 16 points per game, respectively; Champagnie has been projected by many to be NBA-bound if he declares for the draft after the season. Fordham also faced former Ram Joel Soriano, SJU ’23, but the center played just eight minutes and was not very impactful. 

The Red Storm’s aforementioned leaders overwhelmed Fordham’s defense. Alexander finished the game with 23 points while Champagnie scored 16 and secured eight rebounds. Montez Mathis, SJU ’22, added 16 points to a Red Storm offense that ended the night with an impressive 83 points.

Fordham made valiant efforts to keep up with its high-scoring counterpart. The Rams shot 32 three-pointers in the contest, tied for their most attempts in a game this season. This offensive adjustment seemed like an effective counter to the Red Storm’s firepower, but Fordham was only able to connect on 10 of their three-point shots. Nevertheless, the strategy led to a few runs that kept the Rams within striking distance.

Darius Quisenberry, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’22, nailed three three-pointers in the first half and Kam’ron Cunningham, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’23, added another two off the bench. With seven minutes left in the first half, the Rams trailed by just two points. But as Fordham began to miss shots, the Red Storm pulled away. 

The Rams were outscored 17-6 over the final 6:30 of the first half and entered halftime 13 points behind. In the second half, it was Chuba Ohams’, GSAS ’22, turn to shoulder the offensive load. 

After scoring just two points in the first, Ohams began attacking the rim and finding success by getting to the free throw line. He finished with 20 points while making 5-of-7 (71.4%) shots from the field as well as 9-of-10 (90.0%) at the line.

The habits that the coach has instilled at Rose Hill will have a positive impact down the line.

Efficient foul shooting by the Rams prevented the game from getting out of hand. Fordham shot 15-16 (93.8%) from the free throw line. 

The trio of Ohams, Quisenberry and Antonio Daye Jr., FCRH ’23, combined to score 49 of Fordham’s 69 points, as Quisenberry finished with 16 while Daye added 13. But the Rams were unable to close the gap despite tapering the lead to just eight points with 7:39 remaining.

Even after a decisive victory over Fordham, St. John’s Head Coach Mike Anderson was complimentary of Neptune’s early days in the Bronx. He said that victories may come slowly early on, but the habits that the coach has instilled at Rose Hill will have a positive impact down the line.

“The most important thing when you take over a program is that you get your kids to compete and play hard,” Anderson noted. “He has those kids playing hard, and that’s when the winning starts and the believing starts.”

Although the Rams lost, it is a step in the right direction that they appeared to belong on the same court as a St. John’s squad which previously faced teams like Indiana University and Kansas University this season. The loss leaves Fordham at 6-4 on the year, but the grit and resilience the Rams displayed bodes well for the future of the program.

Fordham will be back in action on Thursday, Dec. 9, when the team takes on the Long Island University Sharks at Rose Hill.