Fordham Men’s Basketball Clinches Narrow Victory Against Duquesne, 72-71

A buzzer beater gave the Rams their first 2-0 start in conference play as members of the Atlantic 10



Antonio Daye Jr., FCRH ’23, led the Rams with 16 points in their second conference victory of the season.


When Head Coach Kyle Neptune was hired to lead the men’s basketball team in March 2021, the news created an unfamiliar buzz on Fordham University’s campus. After years of subpar basketball in a top-tier conference, students, faculty and alumni alike hoped Neptune and the new coaching regime would change the culture of men’s basketball in the Bronx. Fordham’s thrilling 72-71 victory over Atlantic 10 (A10) rival Duquesne University (DU) emphatically demonstrated that these dreams have been realized.  

Before going up against the Duquesne Dukes, COVID-19 protocols had prevented Fordham from taking the court for nearly two weeks. The Rams last suited up on Dec. 30, when they earned their first A10 win of the season on the road against La Salle University. 

The long layoff was evident in the opening frame, as Fordham fell far behind after an early 15-4 Duquesne run. After several turnovers and missed opportunities on the offensive side, Fordham was down 33-20 with four minutes to go in the first half.

With 14 minutes left in the second half, the Rams and Dukes began to trade scores, with no team able to pull away.

Some much-needed buckets from Antonio Daye Jr., Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’23, and Antrell Charlton, FCRH ’24, along with a handful of crucial offensive rebounds from glass cleaner Chuba Ohams, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’22, nearly cut Duquesne’s lead in half heading into the break, 40-33.

In recent history, Duquesne has had Fordham’s number, winning each of their past six matchups. Coming out of halftime, it was evident that the Rams were looking to put an end to that losing streak. After a couple of made baskets put the Dukes up by 11, Fordham confirmed the streak would end.  

Fordham proceeded to go on a 12-0 run led by Kyle Rose, FCRH ’23, who was responsible for eight of the Rams’ 12 points. With 14 minutes left in the second half, the Rams and Dukes began to trade scores, with no team able to pull away. Fordham was able to stretch its lead to eight at one point, but Duquesne came firing back to make it a one-possession game. A Duquesne three tied the game at 67 with just two minutes left.

Seconds later, Fordham guard Darius Quisenberry, GSAS ’22, was sent to the line and split his free throws, giving Fordham just a one-point edge. After numerous exchanged baskets and four lead changes, the advantage was tenuous. Both teams needed a stop, but neither was able to get one.  

With nine ticks left on the clock, Duquesne forward Kevin Easley Jr., DU ’24, was sent to the line for a one-and-one, with the opportunity to put the Dukes up by three. But he missed the first free throw, allowing Rose to grab the board with a chance to give the Rams the lead.  

Rose immediately kicked the ball to Daye Jr., who took it from there. Daye Jr. wove through the Dukes’ fast-break defense, went coast to coast and finished with a tough fast-break layup to give the Rams the lead with just three seconds on the clock. A missed desperation heave from half court by Duquesne sealed the victory for Fordham, 72-71.

“I really give our hats off to those guys who were just out there looking to make plays.” Head Coach Kyle Neptune

While the highlights were made on the offensive side of the ball, the victory could not have been possible without Fordham’s stellar defense. As a team, Fordham tallied a season high 10 blocks on Duquesne shot attempts, including a career-high eight sent back by breakout star Ohams, adding to his 14-point, 16-rebound double double on the night. The team also recorded a season-high 12 steals and forced 15 Duquesne turnovers, capitalizing on them for 22 of their 72 points.   

After his second conference victory in as many games, Neptune refused to take any of the credit away from his team: “I really give our hats off to those guys who were just out there looking to make plays.”

While the Rams this game — and all season — put together incredible performances, it would be impossible to look past the work that Neptune has done to revitalize the team, as just last season Fordham had a laughable basketball program

For the first time since joining the A10 in 1995, Fordham is 2-0 in conference play and is looking like a team that can make some noise in the conference all season. The Rams will look to keep this success rolling when they travel to Saint Louis University to take on the Billikens this Saturday.

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