Despite going down early in the first half to local rivals Wagner, Fordham opened their 2023-24 season with a 68-64 comeback victory by defeating the Seahawks in overtime.
Down by eight at the half, a second half and overtime charge was led by the Rams transfer duo of Japhet Medor with 17 points and Josh Rivera with 10 points, most of which was contributed late into the game.
“[Medor and Rivera] have been a huge addition to our program and what we’re trying to do,” said Fordham head coach Keith Urgo following the win. “They’ve added an incredible amount of depth and versatility, both of those guys can do so many different things.”
Medor specifically arrived this past offseason from UTSA where he averaged 13.7 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 3.8 APG, and 1.5 STLPG as a senior.
After only just receiving his NCAA eligibility waiver in late October, Medor said finally making his debut in front of the energetic “Rose Thill” fans was special despite having to fight off an illness.
“I woke up at 4 am just throwing up and I’ve felt the same since,” Medor said post-game. “Even before the waiver all my teammates, they believed in me. They welcomed me into this culture and so [I’m] all in, it’s the only thing you can do.”
While the Rams overtime comeback ultimately overshadowed this team’s first half struggles, Urgo said he had a potential answer to some of their issues awaiting on the bench.
Binghamton transfer Ogheneyole Akuwovo didn’t see the floor in Monday’s contest against Wagner, but Urgo raved about what he can provide in addition to Medor and Rivera.
“[Akuwovo] didn’t get in today but he’s going to make a major impact throughout the season as well,” said Urgo. “His energy is through the roof and he’s an addition that we’re excited about too because he’s got great leadership, great length, and range. I’m kicking myself a little because especially in the first half, he would have helped us out a lot defensively.”
With the loss of program standouts Darius Quisenberry and Khalid Moore marking a transitional period in the Bronx this past offseason, the Rams will be in good hands behind their new dynamic transfer duo.