City Sports Report

Tough times only getting tougher for Fordham

Tom Pecora

Fordham finds itself at an early crossroads in their season, the Rams dropped to 1-4 after losing at home to Maryland-Eastern Shore 72-66 on Saturday. It was Fordham’s fourth consecutive loss, it was also arguably their most disappointing.

Last Sunday at Rose Hill Gym, it was UMass Lowell coming in and knocking off the Rams. The aftermath from that defeat was predictably one of frustration. It was supposed to be a winnable game for Fordham, the first of a four in a row at home, all looked at as being winnable.

The feeling coming into Saturday’s game against Maryland-Eastern Shore once again was a golden opportunity for Fordham to right the ship. The Hawks came into the Bronx with a 1-6 record on the season, they’ve lost some close games, however they were still a 1-6 basketball team.

UMES (2-6) led Fordham start-to-finish in this one, whenever the Rams came within striking distance, the Hawks would respond with a clutch shot or key stop.

Mike Myers led UMES with 20 points, the Rams struggled throughout the game to contain him in the paint. Freshman Eric Paschall paced Fordham with 25 points, sinking big shots in the second half to keep his team in the game, however it wasn’t enough. Fordham trailed 67-64 with 1:23 to play, the crowd at Rose Hill was alive, but the Rams would then miss four of it next five shots, Maryland-Eastern Shore would then ice the win with free throws.

It’s not getting easier for Fordham off the court either…

Before the game, Pecora announced that sophomore Jon Severe has taken a leave of absence from the team for personal reasons. Severe had an impressive freshman season for the Rams, averaging 17.3 points per game. However, he’s been unable to find his footing so far this season. Severe was suspended for Fordham’s season opener for a violation of team rules.

Paschall,  Fordham’s best offensive threat, is a freshman. The Rams have seven freshmen getting significant playing time this season, this is a young core expected to have growing pains. However, if Fordham is going to make the turn towards becoming a winning team, Pecora  needs improved leadership on the court.

There were too many times against Maryland-Eastern Shore where Fordham struggled to find offense. It could be that the time’s come for them to begin running more of the offense through Paschall.

This is a crucial stretch for Fordham before conference play begins in January. The Ram’s last two losses to UMass Lowell and UMES respectively at home, are demoralizing defeats. Four of  the next six games for Fordham are at Rose Hill, the other two are at Madison Square Garden (vs St. John’s) and at  Barclays Center (vs Manhattan). The schedule-gods have been  kind to Fordham, however Pecora’s young team must begin taking advantage.

Next up for the Rams is a home game against Siena to kickoff the month of December.

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