Photo courtesy of Fordham Sports.com/Fordham University Athletics
By David Cordova
As teams are transitioning into 2017, conference play is now in session. It is the time in which teams really show what they are made of after playing non-conference games for the previous two months. Last night, the Fordham Rams (6-8) squared off against the Duquesne Dukes (8-6) for their first conference game in Atlantic-10 play. Both teams came out and showed what’s to come for the next two months.
Duquesne 75, Fordham 72
In the beginning of the game, Duquesne was in full control, leading 14-10, with over 11 minutes to go in the first half. Then two straight three-pointers by graduate student Emile Blackman helped the Dukes get to a 26-20 lead with 7:34 to go.
Although Fordham tried to stay in the game offensively, they struggled on the other end as Duquesne took advantage of them on the fast break and in the paint. Their torrid offense brought them ahead 40-28 at halftime.
The second half started with the Rams looking rejuvenated, as they stepped up their play & cut their deficit to five, 42-37, with 17:56 to go. As time went on, Fordham, led by graduate student Javontae Hawkins, continued to share the ball and get baskets.
The Rams turned up the defensive pressure in the second half, and then took over the lead, 65-64, on a layup by junior Antwoine Anderson, with 3:48 left to go in the game.
Then Duquesne freshman guard Mike Lewis II hit a three-pointer to give the Dukes a 67-66 lead with 2:06 left and then Blackman scored a layup to bring the Dukes up three, 69-66, with 1:15 left. And then free throws by Blackman and Lewis would seal the deal, as the Dukes would go on to earn the victory.
Blackman led Duquesne with 17 points and Lewis added 15 points, while sophomore Nakye Sanders added 10 points and nine asissts. For Fordham, Hawkins led with 18 points and junior guard Wil Tavares added 11 points in the loss.