Program Changing Season Comes to an End for Fordham in CIT
What has ben referred to as a “program-changing” season for Fordham Men’s Basketball has come to an end.
“We’re really proud of our three seniors,” first year head coach Jeff Neubauer said after Fordham’s first postseason appearance since 1992. “Ryan Canty, Ryan Rhoomes and Mandell Thomas have invested so much in this program over the last 11 and a half months.”
“We certainly have improved the program over the last 11 and a half months,” Neubauer said following his team’s 69-66 loss to Boston University on Wednesday night in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament at the Rose Hill Gym.
A three-pointer to tie the game in the final seconds was never attempted as an inbounds pass was stolen away by the visiting Terriers before the final horn sounded on the Rams’ 17-14 season.
The Rams struggled to protect the ball, committing 21 turnovers in one of 13 first round games in the 26-team postseason tournament. The Terriers equally struggled, turning it over 20 times, but edged Fordham 17-7 in second chance points aided by their 35-29 rebounding advantage.
“We hit some big shots down the stretch, but Boston U kept fighting,” Neubauer said. “It just wasn’t enough and Boston U does deserve a lot of credit.”
After a lay-up by sophomore Christian Sengfelder to tie the game at 62 with 1:45 left in the second half, the Patriot League school went on a quick 5-0 run, including 3 of senior John Papale’s 22 points and two free throws that came following a Fordham turnover. The lead change, the game’s 12th, proved to be too much for the Rams, who shot nearly 57% from the field in the second half.
Senior Ryan Rhoomes turned in his 13th double-double of the season, registering 11 points and collecting a game-high 15 rebounds, while Sengfelder led Fordham scorers with 21 points, including five made threes.
Fordham concludes the 2015-2016 season with 17 overall wins and 8 conference wins, the most in nine years when the 2006-2007 squad finished 18-12 overall and 10-6 in the Atlantic 10.
“Are we proud of this year’s team? Absolutely,” Neubauer said. “I could not be prouder of this team for not only winning early in the year, but for us to be 3-9 in the A-10 and these guys to just stay with it and stay with it and finish so strongly in the Atlantic 10, [I’m] really proud of that. Now we have to determine where we set the bar.”
Overall, despite the loss, many should be pleased with the strides made by Fordham basketball this season.
“One thing we’ve talked about for the last 11 and a half months, we want to do things that have never been done at Fordham,” Neubauer said. “The other thing we can [do is] do things that haven’t been done at Fordham in a long time.
“This year we did have 14 home wins,” the Louisiana native continued. “We won 8 games in the Atlantic 10. We’ve got some things we can build on. None of that is what our guys are thinking about right now, but we certainly did accomplish some things this year.”
Additionally, Rhoomes’ 64.7% overall field goal percentage has set a new single season Fordham record, surpassing Damon Lopez’s 61.6% from the 1990-1991 season.
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