Men’s Basketball Shines in Season Opener Against Dartmouth

The Rams turn rough start into triumphant 88-74 victory behind high-scoring outings from Quisenberry, Moore and Charlton



Georgia Tech transfer Khalid Moore, GSAS ’22, begins his drive. Moore shot 8-for-11 in the season opener, scoring 18 points.


Fordham men’s basketball returned to the hardwood in style on Nov. 7, comfortably beating its Ivy League foes, the Dartmouth College Big Green, 88-74. Although these teams first met in 1927, the last contest between the two was 45 years ago, in 1977. 

The win marked a positive first step for the revamped Rams, as first-time head coach Keith Urgo simultaneously debuted and earned his first career NCAA win in the position.

Fordham fans filled the stands, eager to see their team take to the court for the first time this season. Although spirits were high, the Rams got off to a slow start. 

Fordham began the game in an extremely aggressive full-court press. The pressure generated a turnover on Dartmouth’s first possession, but the Big Green soon adjusted and found multiple open shooters to build an early 10-0 lead. 

However, Fordham resiliently fought back, going on a ten point run of their own to tie the game with 15:07 remaining in the first half. A number of new faces helped the Rams remain competitive. Romad Dean and Will Richardson, both Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’26, scored their first collegiate points in the first half. Georgia Tech transfer student Khalid Moore, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) ’22, asserted himself as a dominant force on both ends of the court. 

The scoring in the first half continued, as both teams traded three-pointers without hesitation. Despite the offensive success, neither team could pull away and a jumper from Moore knotted the game at 25 points each with 9:49 remaining in the first. 

The Rams’ defense shifted away from the porous press that had allowed the Big Green to build its lead and settled into a stout half-court setup. As the first half closed, Fordham made its run. Moore scored 10 of his 18 points in the final 10 minutes of the half with highly efficient shooting percentages. His dunks exhilarated the crowd and his defensive presence ignited the Rams. Some nifty perimeter shooting kept Dartmouth in the game, but Fordham had captured the momentum and led 43-38 going into halftime. 

Moore dominated, finishing with 18 points on 8-11 shooting, seven rebounds and a thunderous block that he pinned against the backboard.

An uncharacteristically strong shooting effort from Dusan Neskovic, Dartmouth ’24, powered the Big Green offense. He shot five-for-six from three against the Rams despite shooting a paltry one-for–10 from behind the arc over the course of the entire 2021-2022 season. After two free throws by Dame Adelekun, Dartmouth ’23 — who contributed 21 points in the game and dominated in the paint — Neskovic nailed a three to bring the game within two, 45-43.

Then the Rams dug in their heels. Fordham went on a 13-0 run capped by a strong drive to the rim by Darius Quisenberry, GSAS ’22, that he converted through a foul with 15:42 remaining in the game. He made the ensuing free throw and extended the Fordham lead to 15. Quisenberry and the offense kept their foot on the gas, and the Rams did not lose their lead throughout the rest of the game. The scoreboard read 88-74 when the final horn sounded, cementing Fordham’s win as the rambunctious crowd celebrated.

At many points in the game, it appeared as if Fordham was unstoppable on offense. The Rams were frequently able to get open and hit their shots at an extremely high rate. Fordham shot a staggering 57.4% from the field and an even more impressive eight-for-20 from three-point range. These are much better rates than last season, when Fordham shot 39.4% from the field and a measly 29.7% from behind the arc.

The revitalized Fordham offense also featured remarkable depth, with 10 of the 11 Rams who touched the court finding the bottom of the net. All three first-years who entered the game scored, setting the table for future contributions. 

But the story cannot be told without acknowledging the efforts of Fordham’s starters. Quisenberry led the offense, filling the stat sheet with 20 points, four rebounds and three assists. Moore dominated, finishing with 18 points on 8-11 shooting, seven rebounds and a thunderous block that he pinned against the backboard. Antrell Charlton, FCRH ’24, led the Rams in playing minutes and added 16 points, three rebounds and three assists of his own. Finally, Kyle Rose, FCRH ’24, pitched in 11 points, nailing both of his three-point attempts. 

Those four starters scored 65 of the Rams’ 88 points. Last year, the entire Fordham offense only averaged 66.1 points per game. If they can continue to produce, the rejuvenated Fordham offense will be tough to contain. 

Needless to say, Fordham’s opening night victory quells many concerns that fans may have had entering the season. The Rams began slowly, but Urgo and his team adjusted and finished extremely strongly. Furthermore, the newcomers had a strong impact on the game. Dean and Richardson each played at least 14 minutes and carved out key roles for themselves while Moore looked more than comfortable getting to the rim and scoring points at will.  

The joy may be short-lived, however, as Fordham’s next matchup is in Fayetteville, Arkansas, against the 10th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks of the Southeastern Conference. The Razorbacks are heavily favored, as they enter the 2022 campaign as perennial contenders for the NCAA Championship at the end of the season, but the contest will be a test for the Rams to see how they can handle talented competition. The game will take place on Friday, Nov. 11 and will be broadcast on the SEC Network through ESPN+.

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