Men's Basketball Upended at Duquesne, 77-67
Feb. 16, 2012
Pittsburgh, Pa. - Former Ram Tom Pipich, an English major in his days at Rose Hill, gave the current Fordham men's basketball squad a little advice at breakfast this morning, courtesy of William Faulkner. "The past is never dead. It's not even past," were the words Pipich imparted on the Rams, words that Fordham tried to push aside tonight as Fordham tried to put a cold first half in the past, cutting a 17-point halftime deficit to just one in the second half before falling, 77-67, to Duquesne University in an Atlantic 10 game in the A.J. Palumbo Center.
With the loss, Fordham falls to 9-15 overall, 2-9 in the Atlantic 10, while Duquesne improves to 15-10 overall, 6-5 in the conference.
The game was decided on two lines tonight, the free throw stripe and the three-point arc as Duquesne connected on ten three-pointers, compared to six for the Rams, and outscored Fordham 21-9 from the charity stripe. But it was also three-point shooting that helped the Rams get back in the game as five of the six Fordham trifectas came in the second half, three from Alberto Estwick, all in a five minute span that cut the Rams' deficit from 14, 52-38, to four, 56-52.
Chris Gaston led the Rams with his 15th double-double of the season, netting a team-high 23 points, his third straight 20-point game, and grabbing eleven rebounds. It was the 51st career double-double for Gaston, who entered the game leading the Atlantic 10, and ranked eighth in the NCAA, in double-doubles.
Trailing 46-29 at the break, the Rams saw Duquesne maintain the 17-point lead, 50-33, early in the second half. A Gaston tip-in with 18:13 left started an 8-2 spurt for the Rams as Fordham pulled to within eleven, 52-41, on a Frazier three-pointer three minutes later.
After a B.J. Monteiro layup bumped the Dukes' lead to 13, 54-41, a Gaston dunk ignited a 15-3 Fordham run as the Rams made it a one-point game, 57-56, on a Brendan Frazier layup with 11:24 remaining. Estwick drained a pair of three-pointers in the run while Gaston added four points.
A Monteiro jumper 13 seconds later increased the Duquesne advantage to three and the Rams had a chance to tie the game but an Estwick three bounced out. Gaston grabbed the offensive rebound but his put back wouldn't go down.
Another Monteiro bucket made it a 61-56 game with 10:18 left before Frazier answered with a jumper for the Rams with 9:54 left to cut the deficit to three, 61-58. But the Fordham offense went cold as Duquesne outscored the Rams 11-3 over the next five minutes to take a 72-61 lead with just over five minutes remaining and the closest Fordham would get would be nine, 72-63, following a Bristol layup with 4:48 remaining.
Fordham won the opening tip and had five chances to score the first points of the game, getting four offensive rebounds in the process, but couldn't connect. Duquesne had no such problem, hitting its first five shots from the field, along with a pair of free throws to open the contest with a 15-2 lead.
The Dukes would build the lead to as many as 17 in the first half, including the 46-29 halftime lead thanks to three Monteiro free throws with seven seconds left.
Estwick finished with eleven points for the Rams while Frazier and Bryan Smith each added ten with Frazier dishing out six assists and Smith pulling down a season-best eight rebounds.
The Rams will next be in action on Saturday, February 18th, as they travel to St. Louis to face the Saint Louis University Billikens in an Atlantic 10 game at 4:00 PM (EST).