Broncs' Comeback Bid Falls Short at Fordham, 73-62
BRONX, NY – Kahlil Thomas (Parkway, FL/Blanche Ely) compiled his second double-double of the year with 21 points and 14 rebounds, but the Rider University men’s basketball team fell at Fordham, 73-62, Wednesday afternoon at Rose Hill Gym. With the loss, the Broncs fall to 2-2, while the Rams improve to 5-1.
Thomas did his damage on 10-of-14 shooting and added a team-best two steals. Jimmie Taylor (Branford, FL/Suwannee) added a season-high 19 points, while Xavier Lundy (Paulsboro, NJ/Paulsboro) scored in double figures for the fourth-straight game to open the season with 10 points.
Joseph Chartouny paced Fordham with 17 points, while Javontae Hawkins (12) and Christian Sengfelder (11) also added double-figure scoring. Chartouny also dished out eight assists and grabbed six rebounds.
“The difference in the game was we gave up some lay-ups in the second half once we cut the lead and started to get back in the game,” said Rider Head Coach Kevin Baggett. “We were just very undisciplined on defense, allowing lay-ups and allowing back doors, things that we knew they were going to do and kind of run a Princeton action. We have to do a better job of handling it.”
After the teams exchanged three points apiece in the early going, the Rams went on a 13-2 run to extend to a double-digit lead. The run further pushed to 21-4 and a 24-7 Fordham lead by the 8:52 mark of the first half, before the Broncs scored four-straight points, including Xzavier Malone’s (Philadelphia, PA/Plymouth Whitemarsh) first collegiate points on a tough drive to the bucket.
The Fordham lead reached 18 points on three occasions near the end of the first half before the Broncs scored five-straight points to cut it to 13. The Rams ended the first-half scoring with a Chartouny floater in the lane with six seconds to go to take a 42-27 lead into the break.
Thomas led Rider with 11 points and nine rebounds in the first half, while Taylor added eight points. Stevie Jordan (Bensalem, PA/Conwell-Egan/API) distributed three assists. Sengfelder led Fordham with 10 points at the half, while Chartouny dished out six assists.
The Broncs cut the deficit to seven, 51-44, with a 7-0 second-half run at the 13:11 mark. Jordan buried a jumper, before Thomas slashed to the bucket for a lay-in, stole the ball at mid-court and dished to Taylor for three to complete the run. The Broncs further whittled the lead to five, 56-51, after a Taylor three-point play and two Norville Carey (British Virgin Islands/Red Lion Christian Academy [Southern Mississippi]) free throws with 8:50 left.
But Fordham scored the next seven points to reestablish a double-digit lead. Buckets by Lundy and Thomas cut the deficit back down to eight at the five-minute mark and the Broncs later got it down to six on a Thomas baby hook with 56 seconds remaining. But Rider could get no closer as Fordham iced the game at the free-throw line.
“I give our guys credit,” said Baggett. “They came back in the second half and battled back. We could’ve gotten blown out but our guys responded the right way.”
For the game, Rider outshot Fordham, 42.1 percent (24-57) to 41.4 percent (24-58) from the floor. The Rams took a 25.9 percent (7-27) to 20.0 percent (3-15) edge from long range and a 75.0 percent (18-24) to 55.0 percent (11-20) advantage from the free-throw line. The Broncs outrebounded Fordham, 43-33. The Rams took a 24-8 advantage in points off turnovers.
The Broncs return to action Saturday, when they travel to Wagner. Tipoff from the Spiro Sports Center is slated for 7 p.m.
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