Men's Basketball Falls at Charlotte, 74-68
Jan. 16, 2013
Charlotte, N.C. - Last Sunday, the Fordham women's basketball squad ventured down to Charlotte and came away with a win. Tonight the men's team was hoping to do the same but couldn't repeat the feat, falling to the 49ers, 74-68, in an Atlantic 10 game in the Halton Arena.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 5-13 overall, 1-2 in the Atlantic 10, while Charlotte improves to 15-2 overall, 3-0 in the conference.
"That was a good college basketball game," said Fordham head coach Tom Pecora. "We played a very talented, very deep, Atlantic 10 team pretty even on the road. This is a game we can build from. We competed hard for forty minutes against a good basketball team and if we keep that up, we'll win some games."
If someone would have told Fordham fans before the game that Chris Gaston, the Rams' second leading scorer would be held to just three points on the night, they would have thought that the Rams wouldn't have a shot to win. But junior Branden Frazier and freshman Mandell Thomas stepped up, scoring 23 and 13 points, respectively, to keep Fordham in the game.
Gaston did manage to pull down a game-high ten rebounds, the second of which brought his career total to 1,000 as he became just the third Fordham player to record 1,000 career rebounds.
The Rams trailed for most of the game, but never by more than eight points. The game featured ten ties, three of which came in the second half. The final tie came when Charlotte's JT Thompson's jumper tied the game at 45 with 11:47 left after a Frazier dunk gave Fordham a 45-43 lead with 12:27 remaining.
After Thompson's basket, a DeMario Mayfield three-pointer gave the 49ers a 48-45 lead 36 seconds later but a pair of Ryan Rhoomes free throws made it a one-point game, 48-47, with 10:26 on the clock.
The game was a one-point game again 37 seconds later following a pair of Bryan Smith free throws when Charlotte scored four straight to make it a five-point game, 54-49, with 8:47 remaining.
A Thomas three 42 seconds later trimmed the Charlotte advantage back to two, 54-52, and Fordham again trailed by two, 56-54, after a Travion Leonard jumper with just over seven minutes left in the contest.
The 49ers reeled off six straight points to take their largest lead of the night, 62-54, at the 6:15 mark but the Rams again battled back, scoring six unanswered points to cut the deficit to two, 64-62, on a Smith three-pointer with 2:26 remaining.
On the ensuing Charlotte possession, Pierria Henry missed a three and the ball was rebounded by Leonard who got the ball to Frazier. But Henry was able to knock the ball away from Frazier and was fouled on his way to the basket, sinking one of his two free throws to make it a 65-62 game. Frazier was then fouled but could only convert one of his two charity shots with 1:21 on the clock to make it a 65-63 game.
A Mayfield layup with just over a minute remaining bumped the Charlotte advantage to four, 67-63, and the 49ers hit seven of their eight free throws over the final minute to secure the win.
The game started slowly with both teams having problems putting the ball in the basket. Charlotte's Chris Braswell managed to score the game's first points with a layup almost four minutes into the contest.
The Rams scored the next five points on a Frazier three-point play and a Ryan Canty layup to take a 5-2 lead five minutes in, and the Rams led by one five times over the next seven minutes, the final time at 17-16 on a Rhoomes bucket with 8:18 left.
Eight straight Charlotte points helped the 49ers take a 24-17 lead but the Rams got the deficit down to two, 27-25 later in the half following a Canty tip-in with 2:50 on the clock. But the 49ers closed out the half with a 4-2 spurt to take a 31-27 lead at the break.
Smith added nine points and matched his career-high with eight rebounds for the Rams while Leonard finished with seven points and four rebounds.
The Rams will have a week off before returning to action on Wednesday, January 23, as they travel to Dayton, Ohio, to take on the University of Dayton Flyers in an Atlantic 10 contest in the UD Arena at 7:00 p.m.