The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

The Student Voice of Fordham Lincoln Center

The Observer

SUBSCRIBE TO THE OBSERVER'S WEEKLY NEWSLETTER:

Fordham Rolls to Back-to-Back Wins as Regular Season Winds Down

Fueled by raucous crowds and heroic comebacks, the Rams have found a late-season spark
Fordham+Athletics+reported+a+complete+sellout+for+the+Rams%E2%80%99+matchup+against+Duquesne%2C+with+the+exhilarated+crowd+pushing+Fordham+to+a+double-digit+victory.
COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS
Fordham Athletics reported a complete sellout for the Rams’ matchup against Duquesne, with the exhilarated crowd pushing Fordham to a double-digit victory.

For the entire season, Keith Urgo, head coach of the men’s basketball team, has called on Fordham students to pack the Rose Hill Gymnasium in support of their fellow Rams. On Friday, Feb. 23, his pleas were met with a spirited student section, which propelled the team to a thrilling victory that night, beating the Duquesne Dukes 79-67. 

Just a few nights later on Feb. 27, Fordham rode the wave of momentum into its home matchup against the George Mason University Patriots. A 3-pointer by Kyle Rose, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’24, with 4.0 seconds remaining secured the win for the Rams. They now sit at a 6-9 Atlantic 10 (A10) record, with three regular season games to go before the A10 Men’s Basketball Championship. 

“These guys just continue to play, they don’t stop,” Urgo said after the Rams beat the Patriots. “All that we talked about was that they just wanted to not let each other down.” 

Friday’s game was significant for three main reasons. First, it was broadcast on ESPN2 — the Rams had not appeared on the secondary channel of “The Worldwide Leader in Sports” since 2008, when they beat the University of Massachusetts 76-72. 

Second, the game was designated as a “White Out” promotion, with Fordham Athletics distributing white T-shirts to students. The result of the giveaway was a packed student section, roaring with applause and chants throughout the competition. 

Last, there were major implications for the Rams’ positioning in the A10 standings. Entering the game, Fordham’s conference record stood at 4-9, while Duquesne fell just ahead of it with a 6-7 record. The Dukes also beat the Rams earlier in the season, 68-59 on Jan. 27. With the two teams so close in the congested bottom half of the A10 standings, Friday’s game could set the tone for the end of both teams’ seasons. 

The dominant victory is especially impressive considering that two of the Rams top scorers entering the game, Japhet Medor, FCRH ’24, and Elijah Gray, FCRH ’26, combined for only four points. 

Both teams started off slowly on the offensive end, but a spurt of eight consecutive points by Rose to open the game put Fordham ahead 8-4 with 15:09 remaining in the first half. The two teams traded the lead throughout the first half, but it was the Dukes who narrowly edged in front by the halftime break, 32-26.

The Rams emerged with renewed energy for the second half. They opened with a 21-5 run behind a barrage of 3-pointers to build a 10-point lead by the 14:47 mark. The exhilarated Fordham crowd roared as the home team continued its second-half dominance. Ultimately, the Rams outscored their A10 opponent 53-35 in the half on the way to a 12-point victory. 

Fordham’s offensive explosion on national television can only be described as uncharacteristic for the squad. The Rams missed only nine shots in the second half, and their 53 points in the half matched Fordham’s point total in their previous game, a 68-53 loss to Davidson College. 

“When you’re playing at home, in front of an environment like that, and you make a couple of huge plays, the crowd’s going nuts, that doesn’t only affect our own players, it affects them, speeds them up.”Keith Urgo, head coach of the men’s basketball team

Rose shined again for the Rams. He scored 23 points while adding five rebounds, two steals and a block. The performance marked the third time this season that Rose has topped 20 points. 

Other major contributors for the Rams were Antrell Charlton, FCRH ’24, who continued his hot streak with 16 points and 8 assists in his return to the starting lineup, and Abdou Tsimbila, FCRH ’24. Tsimbila finished with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 6 blocks. 

The dominant victory is especially impressive considering that two of the Rams top scorers entering the game, Japhet Medor, FCRH ’24, and Elijah Gray, FCRH ’26, combined for only four points. 

Kyle Rose, FCRH ’24, has caught fire for the Rams. Fordham’s all-time leader in games played is averaging 15.5 points over his last four games. (COURTESY OF FORDHAM ATHLETICS)

“To the Rose Thrill, the Shirtless Herd, thank you so much … you created so much energy that these guys stepped up,” Urgo noted following the game, gesturing toward Rose and Charlton seated next to him. “When you’re playing at home, in front of an environment like that, and you make a couple of huge plays, the crowd’s going nuts, that doesn’t only affect our own players, it affects them, speeds them up.”

The Rams started the game against George Mason University (GMU) on Feb. 27 even slower than they did in their previous outing. The two teams combined for only 37 points in the first half, with the Patriots entering the break with a 19-18 edge.

This time around, Fordham was not the team to throw the first punch in the second half. George Mason quickly worked to gain the upper hand, eventually going on a 12-2 run to take a 40-26 lead with 12:22 remaining in the game. 

It was at this point that a switch was flipped in the Fordham offense. Over the next eight minutes, the Rams connected on seven 3-pointers and by the 4:44 mark, they had taken a 1-point lead, 52-51.

George Mason refused to cave into the pressure applied by the home team. The Patriots and the Rams traded leads in the final minutes of the game, before the Patriots gained possession with the game knotted at 58 with 48 seconds left. 

The Rams hope to secure the ninth slot or better in the A10 Championship. They currently sit at 10th in the league, but rising one spot would secure a bye to the second round of the tournament.

Their leading scorer, Keyshawn Hall, GMU ’26, drove to the basket, but was stonewalled and forced to take a contested shot. It came up short, but Amari Kelly, GMU ’24, snatched the rebound and tossed a contorted reverse layup through the net with only milliseconds on the shot clock. The air exited the gym as the Patriots took a 60-58 lead.

Fordham called a timeout with 18 seconds remaining to gather its thoughts. The ensuing play centered around a handoff to Rose, who connected on three 3-pointers in the second half, for a go-ahead shot from behind the arc. He missed, but the Rams fought for the offensive rebound, tying the ball up and forcing a jump ball.

Luckily, Fordham maintained possession. The ball was tossed in to Rose, who set his feet behind the three-point line once again and rose to shoot in front of Fordham’s bench. He didn’t make the same mistake twice, and with 4 seconds on the clock, the Rams took a 61-60 lead. 

The crowd erupted as Fordham completed its 14-point comeback. Rose finished with 16 points in addition to the game-winner, while Will Richardson, FCRH ’26, and Romad Dean, FCRH ’26, added 10 points apiece. Tsimbila contributed another solid effort defensively, securing 9 rebounds and blocking four shots — he is now only 0.1 blocks per game behind the leader of the A10 for the season.

Importantly, both Duquesne and George Mason sit in front of them in the A10 standings. With only a handful of games left in the regular season, victories such as these can shift the tides of the entire conference.

Specifically, the Rams hope to secure the ninth slot or better in the A10 Championship. They currently sit at 10th in the league, but rising one spot would secure a bye to the second round of the tournament. 

A win against St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia on Mar. 2 would go a long way in supporting their cause, as the Hawks are exactly one game ahead of the Rams with a 7-8 A10 record. Needless to say, the men’s basketball team could not have chosen a better time to find momentum, as Urgo’s squad is less than two weeks away from the first games of the A10 Championship.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
CHRIS MURRAY
CHRIS MURRAY, Sports & Health Editor
Chris Murray (he/him), FCRH ’24, is a sports & health editor at The Observer. He is a political science and humanitarian studies double major with a minor in psychology. He is a Mets, Knicks and Rangers fan and spends his time trying new food or enjoying the outdoors.

Comments (0)

The Observer reserves the right to remove any comments that contain any of the following: threats or harassment, hateful language and/or slurs, spam (including advertisements unrelated to the topic of a given post), and incoherent phrasing. See the Community Guidelines page under the About tab for more information. Please allow up to a few days for submitted comments to be approved.
All The Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *