Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Boston University 69, Fordham 66: Tempo-Free Recap


Bronx, NY- Twenty-four years. For the first time since 1992, Fordham was involved in postseason play. The College Insider Tournament is a nice reward and recognition for the outstanding job coach Jeff Neubauer and his group have done this year, but no time for celebration and accolades, as the Rams’ first round opponent was Boston University.

The game featured 13 ties and 12 lead changes. To little surprise, it came down to the final possession. Visiting BU held on, scoring a 69-66 victory over the Rams and advancing in the tournament.

First Half: The first four minutes see Fordham with a 9-7 lead. BU is zoning early from early sets against the patience and shot selection of the Rams.  BU is a scrappy team with perimeter threats. Of greater consequence is the fact that those threats are not afraid to shoot the three, and are encouraged by coach Joe Jones. The half is a composition of ‘mini’-runs. Both teams run off four or five points in a row and are quickly answered. At the four-minute mark, BU leads 27-24. The Terriers ‘win’ those last four minutes 8-5. If not for a few turnovers during that stretch, the visitor’s lead could be in double digits.
Halftime: Boston University 34, Fordham 29
Possessions: Fordham 38 , Boston University 36
Offensive efficiency: Boston University 97, Fordham 76

Second half: The first half was about offense, as in lack of it. Fordham’s defensive efficiency was right around their average (102), with the offense over 20 below the norm (100) entering this contest. The first five possessions wind up 8-2 in Fordham’s favor. The good start is a positive for the Rams, who tie the score at 37 with 16:58 remaining. Fordham’s 6-7 Christian Sengfelder has the size to work inside. The Ram forward is quite comfortable and dangerous on the perimeter, knocking down several three-pointers. With ten minutes remaining, BU holds a four-point lead. Both teams are zoning and BU pushes the ball a few times, figuring it would be better to beat a zone down the floor rather than let it set up. In the half court or transition, the Terriers love to shoot the three. Neither team is near ‘separation.’  The Rams, with some key threes going down, lead by three with three minutes to go. The Terriers get a key spurt and take a five-point lead into the final minute. The last 30 seconds come down to BU’s ability to convert at the charity stripe. Eric Fanning misses a one-and-one with ten seconds left, and Fordham rebounds down three. BU elects to foul at midcourt. It is the Terriers’ sixth team foul, and timeout is called by Fordham, who will inbound with four ticks left. On the inbounds, the Rams lob to Ryan Rhoomes in the paint. He loses the ball, and BU recovers.

Final score: Boston University 69, Fordham 66
Possessions: Fordham 70, Boston University 67
Offensive efficiency: Boston University 103, Fordham 94

eFG%: Boston University 57, Fordham 57
Free Throw Rate: Boston University 23, Fordham 19
Offensive Rebound%: Boston University 39, Fordham 30
Turnover Rate: Boston University 30, Fordham 30

What Boston University did well: Shoot from deep. The Terriers knocked down ten threes, shooting 10-of-25 from beyond the arc. They also extended possessions with a nice advantage in offensive rebound percentage.

What Fordham did well: As was the case with BU, the Rams shot it well from deep. They were 11-of-29 from long distance. On a night where several Rams struggled offensively, Christian Sengfelder came up big.

NOTES: Hot shooting proved to be a necessity, as both teams were guilty of excessively high turnover rates, the type that lose games. Again, shooting can atone for a multiple of sins.

Ryan Rhoomes scored 11 points, shooting 5-of-9 from the floor. The Ram senior added a game-high 15 rebounds. Joseph Chartouny led the way with nine assists. “He is just a pleasure to coach,” Neubauer said of the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year.

Eric Fanning scored 21 points with nine boards and four assists for BU.  Senior guard John Papale, who Fordham attempted recruiting, was BU’s biggest perimeter threat, hitting 6-of-12 from long distance.

Sophomore guard Cheddi Mosely, a product of St. Anthony’s in Jersey City, started slow. Mosely finished with nine points and four steals, making some big plays the final few minutes. Surely, if St. Anthony’s coach Bob Hurley were here, he would remind Mosely of his game-high six turnovers.

Final thoughts:

“Appreciate you coming. Biggest congregation of media all year. Proud of our three seniors, invested so much in our program (Ryan Canty, Mandell Thomas, Ryan Rhoomes). Disappointing to us. Christian stepped up, played great. Just wasn’t enough. We will have a team meeting. You start with where we are: Do things at Fordham that haven’t been done. Won some games in the Atlantic 10, accomplished some things we wanted. We made a step, no doubt. I even said at 3-9 in the A-10 we did some things and even made another big step down the stretch. One of things I haven’t spent time on is end-of-game situation. That is my fault. We wanted to get the ball to Ryan Rhoomes and let him be a passer. Christian didn’t play well at Barclays. He’s a battler. He wanted to do better tonight, and he did. We spent the last five days talking about this time of year. What is this about, why are we playing? Memories and experiences are what I’ll teach the juniors about and decide now, where will we set the bar next year? I am proud of this year. We won early, were 3-9 in the Atlantic 10, and finished strong.”- Fordham coach Jeff Neubauer

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