BRONX, NY -- On a snowy afternoon more suited to hot chocolate, a basketball doubleheader was the order of the day. Instead of a good book or movie, the accent on this afternoon was on defense. Fordham's women hosted Iona in the opener, while the men entertained St. Francis Brooklyn.
In the first game, Stephanie Gaitley’s Rams took care of business, posting a 78-48 victory over Iona. While Fordham posted 1.24 points per possession and assisted on 20 of 29 field goals, the head coach's emphasis in this victory was on the defensive end, where they yielded a scant 0.72 points per possession to Iona as the Gaels struggled to get into an offensive rhythm, committing 15 turnovers on the afternoon. In the second game, the Fordham men defeated St. Francis Brooklyn, 76-68. On the offensive end, there were encouraging signs for the Rams, notably Prokop Slanina going for 18 points against a Terrier team making post defense a priority. Head coach Jeff Neubauer was also pleased with David Pekarek’s 10-point 8-rebound outing, but was not thrilled with some of his team’s attention or inattention to defense.
“There were defensive shortcomings the second half,” Neubauer said. “At the half, we talked about not giving up threes, especially to number 14.” Number 14, Jalen Jordan, scored 18 points, making three of five shots from deep in the process. He drew the praise of Neubauer for his range and scoring ability. On the other side, it was a case of giving up “shots we do not want to give up,” per Neubauer. A silver lining for the now 4-5 Rams was forcing 18 Terrier turnovers. As Neubauer noted, though, getting steals (13) and disrupting opposing offenses into miscues is something Fordham does as well as anyone in the nation. The win was to be savored. Those thoughts of perimeter defense would have Neubauer back looking at and seriously analyzing tape, and soon.
On this afternoon with both Fordham teams winning, it was quite interesting to observe and see how defense worked into the equation. With the women, satisfaction for a job well done. On the men’s side, a definite need to search for answers immediately, with a trip to Rutgers on tap Tuesday night.
Photo Gallery (all photos by Ray Floriani/Daly Dose Of Hoops)