Fordham Men’s B-Ball Struggles Against Saint Louis, 63-45

The Rams failed to find their footing in first game without Antonio Daye Jr.



Darius Quisenberry, GSAS ’21, scored 15 points in the losing game against Saint Louis.


The Fordham men’s basketball team lost to the Saint Louis University (SLU) Billikens on Saturday, Jan. 15. The Rams scored a season-low 45 points in the loss, failing to find sustained success on the offensive end throughout the contest. 

Fordham entered Chaifetz Arena with momentum, having won its first two Atlantic 10 (A10) games. While this season has been the Rams’ best start since they joined the A10 in 1995, they faced the challenge of beating the Billikens on their home court, something they had never done. History was not the only obstacle in the up-and-coming team’s way. 

The matinée was Fordham’s first game without leading scorer Antonio Daye Jr. The team announced on Jan. 13 that Daye would be leaving the university due to personal reasons only 24 hours after his game-winner against Duquesne and just under 48 hours before the Rams met with Saint Louis. Prior to his departure, Daye was leading Fordham in scoring, averaging 16.8 points per game. 

From the jump, Fordham played with intensity on defense that stalled Saint Louis’ offense. The Billikens started the game 2-11 from the field and quickly fell behind. This drought did not last for long, as Saint Louis scored seven unanswered points to take a 16-15 lead with 5:51 left in the first half. 

Although Fordham forced 12 turnovers in the first half with its impressive combination of pressing past half court and trapping Billikens in corners, the Rams trailed 27-21 at the break. The root of Fordham’s struggles in the first was poor offensive production. 

The Rams struggled to turn stingy defense into points, scoring just six points off of their abundance of turnovers. Furthermore, they shot only 7-for-26 (26.9%) from the field and 2-for-11 (18.2%) from beyond the arc. Fordham’s stagnating offense had just two assists at the halfway point. 

These woes continued into the second half and Fordham did not regain the lead for the rest of the game. No Ram stepped up on the offensive end to fill the vacated role in the midst of Daye’s absence, and Fordham’s tenacious defense could not counteract the inability to string together scoring possessions. 

The Billikens led 52-41 with four minutes left, leaving time for the Rams to cut into the deficit. But Fordham scored only four points in that final segment, and the team fell by 18 points, Saint Louis’ largest lead of the game. 

The Rams shot 16-for-56 (28.5%) from the field, far below their average shooting percentage for the season (41.9%). They also shot an abysmal 8-for-16 (50.0%) from the free throw line. Fordham simply could not lift the imaginary lid off of the rim, as Darius Quisenberry, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ’21, was the only Ram to reach double-digits in scoring with 15 points. 

The Rams are positioned higher than anybody outside of the organization could have predicted this far into the season.

The loss dropped the Rams to 9-6 overall and 2-1 in the A10. At just about halfway through the 2021-22 season, Fordham finds itself in sixth place in the A10 by both overall and conference record. While conference play has only just begun, the Rams are positioned higher than anybody outside of the organization could have predicted this far into the season. 

Fordham’s performance is somewhat unsurprising considering the extreme roster adjustments that Head Coach Kyle Neptune was forced to make on short notice. It is still alarming that the offense took such a step back. It remains to be seen whether the offense will continue to struggle or adapt and revive Fordham’s magical season. 

The Rams will face the 10-7 University of Richmond Spiders on Tuesday, Jan. 18, at Rose Hill. As conference play looms, Fordham’s mettle is bound to be tested.