Men's Basketball Rebounds with Win over George Washington
Jan. 28, 2012
Bronx, N.Y. - It's not often that a collegiate head basketball coach quotes Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his postgame press conference but Fordham's Tom Pecora did so today, comparing his team, which entered a home game today with George Washington coming off consecutive road losses (each by more than 40 points), to the little girl in Wadsworth's There Was a Little Girl.
"We're like the little girl with the curl," said Pecora paraphrasing Wadsworth. "When we're good, we're very good and when we're bad, we're very bad."
After the back-to-back road losses, the Rams were happy to return to the friendly confines of the historic Rose Hill Gym, a venue where they have lost just twice all season. And that didn't change today as Branden Frazier scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Rams to a 63-58 Atlantic 10 win over George Washington University.
With the win, Fordham snaps a two-game losing streak and improves to 9-11 overall, 2-5 in the Atlantic 10, while George Washington falls to 8-13 overall, 3-4 in the conference. The Rams also improve to 8-2 at home, the most home wins in a season since the 2006-07 squad went 11-3.
"I told the guys that nothing is easy," said Pecora, referencing the fact that the Rams let an eight-point lead slip away late in the game. "This is a big win for us, especially in conference play. And it's good to get another win at home. The first step in rebuilding a program is becoming a winning team at home."
Frazier has some help in the offense end from Chris Gaston, who finished with 16 points and six rebounds, and Kervin Bristol, who netted ten points and grabbed eight rebounds. More importantly, after allowing their last two opponents to shot over 50% from the field, the Fordham defense made its presence felt today, limiting the Colonials to shooting 33.3% (19-57) from the field and the Rams controlled the glass, outrebounding George Washington, 44-24.
It was important for the Rams to get off to a quick start and that was accomplished with Frazier giving Fordham a 3-0 lead, hitting a trifecta just 24 seconds into the game. That basket ignited a 10-5 opening run for the Rams that was capped by a Bristol layup 3:24 into the contest.
After the Colonials cut the Fordham lead back to two, 10-8, the Rams scored eight straight points to take an 18-8 lead following a Devon McMillan layup with 9:47 left in the half. But George Washington battled back, netting the next eight points to pull to within two, 18-16, on a Nemanja Mikic three-pointer with 7:17 remaining.
Another Frazier three-pointer got the Fordham offense kick-started as the Rams scored eleven of the next 13 points to take their biggest lead of the day, 29-18, on a Bristol jumper with 2:47 on the clock.
The Colonials managed to trim the Fordham advantage to seven at the half, 31-24, and George Washington got the Fordham lead down to five, 35-30, 2:09 into the second half when the Rams responded with a 6-1 run to get the lead back to ten, 41-31, on a Marvin Dominique dunk with 12:30 remaining.
The Rams again led by ten, 45-35, two minutes later when the Colonials ran off six straight to cut their deficit to four, 45-41, with 8:15 left. But Frazier came up with another big three 16 seconds later to bump the Fordham lead back to seven and, after a Aaron Ware layup, Frazier connected on another three-pointer to put Fordham up eight, 51-43, with 6:48 on the clock.
But the Fordham offense then went cold, allowing George Washington to score the next eight points to knot the game at 51 on a Dwayne Smith layup with 3:54 left.
With just under a minute remaining, Gaston was fouled going the hoop and he converted both of his free throws to put Fordham up for good, 57-55. A missed layup for the Colonials was rebounded by McMillan with 37 seconds left but he missed both of his charity shots. However, the Rams got control of the rebound and Gaston was fouled. He sank both of his free throws to give Fordham a 59-55 lead with 29 seconds left.
A Lasan Kromah three-pointer 18 seconds later made it a one-point game, 59-58, but Frazier nailed two free throws a second later and Tony Taylor missed a three-pointer for George Washington with four seconds on the clock before Dominique closed out the scoring with two free throws.
McMillan finished with nine points, six assists and four rebounds while Dominique added six points and eight rebounds.
The Rams will next be in action on Wednesday night, February 1st, as they travel to Philadelphia to face the Temple University Owls in an Atlantic 10 game at the Liacouras Center at 7:00 p.m.