Fordham entered its matchup Saturday against Rutgers on a five-game losing skid, looking for its first win since Nov. 23.
Unfortunately for Fordham, Rutgers proved to be too formidable of an opponent, and topped the Rams, 68-53. The Scarlet Knights are off to their best start in more than 40 years (fun fact: the last time Rutgers started a season off this well, they made it to the Final Four), and entered the matchup with a 10-1 record.
The first two minutes seemed promising for the Rams. Antwoine Anderson scored an easy one in the paint, then Rutgers turned it over, and Will Tavares hit a jumper. Fordham jumped out to an early 8-2 lead. But, as Rutgers warmed and became acclimated to the frigid temperature of Madison Square Garden, it ate away at the lead. To make matters worse, Fordham guard Will Tavares hobbled off the court midway through the first half and did not return. Tavares started off hot, going 2-3 from the field, with one rebound and one assist in seven minutes of play. By halftime, Rutgers led by 14, 34-20, and was shooting 50 percent from the field.
The Scarlet Knights didn’t cool much in the second half. Fordham came out focused, and cut the lead to six, but Rutgers was not deterred, and within a minute, extended the lead back to 10, which eventually ballooned to a 17-point victory.
Reigning A-10 Rookie of the Year Joseph Chartouny scored 17 points, tying his second-highest scoring effort for the season. Chartouny has been held scoreless twice, and under 10 points on two more occasions so far this season. Javontae Hawkins and Christian Sengfelder are tied as the teams highest scorers, with Chartouny and Anderson tied for second. For a Rams team that is struggling to put points on the board (their 53 total points today matched a season low), consistent production from Chartouny is critical.
Fordham was pummeled on the boards. Rutgers ended the game with a 16-7 offensive rebounding advantage, and registered a 13-1 advantage in second chance points. The Rams had no answer for Rutgers forward Deshawn Freeman, who ended the game with 16 points and 11 rebounds, his sixth double-double of the season.
Fordham faces Central Connecticut State Wednesday night at home.