Men's Basketball Falls to VCU, 81-65
Feb. 2, 2013
Richmond, Va. - First the good news for the Fordham University men's basketball team. The Rams held tonight's opponent, VCU, to shooting under 35% in the game and outrebounded the home team 46-40. Now the bad. Fordham committed 22 turnovers that VCU turned into 32 points as the home Rams upended the visiting Rams, 81-65, in an Atlantic 10 game in the Verizon Wireless Center in the Siegel Center.
With the loss, Fordham falls to 6-16 overall, 2-5 in the Atlantic 10, while VCU improves to 18-5 overall, 6-2 in the conference.
"That's a very good basketball team," said Fordham head coach regarding VCU. "We held them to shooting 34% but still lost by 16. They are as good as any team in the country in not only forcing turnovers but in turning them into points. But I'm proud our effort tonight. We just made too many little mistakes that you can't make against a team like VCU."
Bryan Smith and Mandell Thomas provided the Fordham offense with Smith netting a team-high 17 points, his first double figure scoring game over the past seven contests, while Thomas netted 16, his third straight double digit scoring game. Thomas also added a season-high nine rebounds while Smith finished with five.
VCU entered the game leading the NCAA in turnover margin at +7.7/game and leading the Atlantic 10 in turnovers forced, 20.3, while Fordham entered the contest averaging 16.0 turnovers/game. But over the first 20 minutes, Fordham held its own, trailing by just five at the break, 38-33. However, VCU poured the pressure on to open the second half, forcing four turnovers over the first 2:17 and turned those Fordham miscues into seven points as VCU pulled away.
VCU scored the first five points of the game before Fordham used a Travion Leonard tip-in and Smith three to knot the game at five three minutes in.
VCU led by five again with 13:44 left but a Ryan Rhoomes layup and a Thomas free throw made it a two-point game, 14-12, before VCU went on an 8-2 run to take a 22-14 lead with 10:33 on the clock.
A Rhoomes layup 30 seconds later started an 11-3 run as Fordham tied the game at 25 on a Leonard jumper with 6:56 left in the period.
The home squad responded with eleven straight points to build a 36-25 lead over Fordham with 4:17 remaining but Fordham whittled away at the VCU lead, outscoring VCU 8 -2 over the final four minutes to cut the deficit to five at the break, 38-33. Thomas scored four of the eight points for Fordham over that stretch.
The second half didn't open well for Fordham as VCU quickly pushed the lead to double digits, 45-33, before layups from Leonard and Thomas got Fordham within eight, 45-37, with 16:32 remaining. But eleven unanswered points got the VCU lead up to 19, 56-37, two minutes later and the closest Fordham would get the rest of the way would be 16 which occurred three times, the final at 81-65 when a Jermaine Myers jumper closed out the scoring with 41 seconds left.
Myers finished with a season-high eleven points for Fordham while Rhoomes chipped in with eight points and 12 rebounds.
Fordham returns to action on Wednesday night, February 6, as they host the Saint Louis University Billikens in an Atlantic 10 contest in the Rose Hill Gym at 8:00 p.m. in a game that will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network.