Men's Basketball Falls to Saint Louis
Feb. 7, 2013
Bronx, N.Y. - Fordham knew points would be hard to come by in tonight's Atlantic 10 matchup with Saint Louis, who entered the game leading the conference in scoring defense, allowing 57.6 points per game. What the Rams didn't count on was that the Billikens offensive unit that was averaging 67.8 points per game, would explode for a season-high 90 points as Saint Louis handed Fordham a 90-73 loss in the Rose Hill Gym.
With the loss, Fordham falls to 6-17 overall, 2-6 in the Atlantic 10, while Saint Louis improves to 17-5, 6-2 in the conference, moving the Billikens into a first place tie.
The loss overshadowed a Fordham milestone and a career-high, the milestone coming when junior guard Branden Frazier scored his 1,000th career point and the career-high being the team-high 22 points scored by freshman guard Mandell Thomas.
Frazier entered the game needing eleven points to hit the 1,000 point mark and finished with exactly eleven, the final point coming on a free throw with 7:04 left that made him the 35th player in Fordham men's basketball history to score 1,000 career points.
Thomas, the reigning Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week, shot 8-for-13 from the field, including one three-pointer, and 5-for-6 from the charity stripe, in surpassing his previous season-high of 17, set against Rhode Island and matched against Saint Joseph's.
The Billikens outscored the Rams, 13-4, over the first 5:38 of the game, before Fordham netted six straight points, to cut the deficit to three, 13-10, on a Travion Leonard dunk with 12:34 left in the half.
Saint Louis built the lead back to six twice over the next minute, the final time at 18-12, but an 8-2 Fordham spurt tied the game at 20. Leonard got the run started with back-to-back buckets before Thomas answered a Carl McCall basket with one of his own and Ryan Canty capped the run with a reverse dunk with just under eight minutes remaining.
The Billikens started nailing three-pointers, taking a 30-23, lead with 4:47 left before a Bryan Smith trifecta got the Rams within four, 30-26, 13 seconds later. But an 8-3 Saint Louis run got the lead to as many as nine, 38-29, before the Billikens took a 40-33 lead at the break.
Saint Louis took a nine-point lead, 44-35, early in the second half but consecutive Thomas layups made it a 44-39 game two minutes into the second.
The Billikens quickly got their advantage into double digits, taking an eleven-point lead, 51-40, four minutes later and led again by eleven, 53-42, with 13:40 left when a Luka Zivkovic three started a 9-3 Fordham run as the Rams pulled within five, 56-51, when Jermaine Myers put back a Leonard miss with 10:18 remaining.
But that was as close as Fordham would get as Saint Louis scored six straight to get the lead to eleven and the closest the Rams got from that point was nine, 66-57, on a pair of Frazier free throws with 7:04 left.
Leonard finished with 12 points and four rebounds for the Rams while Frazier added a game-high eight assists with his eleven points and Zivkovic finished with nine points, hitting all three of his long distance shots.
The Rams return to action on Saturday, February 9, as they travel to Philadelphia to face La Salle University in an Atlantic 10 game at 2:00 PM.