Men's Basketball Falls at George Washington, 68-60
Feb. 20, 2013
Washington, D.C. - For most of the night, the Fordham men's basketball team felt as if they were trying to walk up an icy Rose Hill, gaining enough traction to get close to the top before slipping back down the incline. For tonight, the Rams would routinely manage to get within striking distance of George Washington University but never quite were able to make it to the top, falling to the Colonials, 68-60, in an Atlantic 10 game in the Smith Center.
With the loss, Fordham falls to 6-21 overall, 2-10 in the Atlantic 10, while George Washington evens its record at 12-12, 6-5 in the conference.
Before the game, the Fordham coaching staff identified one of the keys to the game for the Rams would be keeping George Washington out of the paint, as the Colonials are a proficient team when they are able to get the ball in the lane. Unfortunately the Rams weren't able to keep the Colonials at bay as George Washington scored 44 of its 68 points in the paint while the Rams were only able to net 20 points in the lane.
Trailing by four at the break, 36-32, the Rams turned the ball over on their first two possession of the second half which turned into four George Washington points as the Colonials took a 40-32 lead a minute into the period.
A Travion Leonard layup a minute later and a Mandell Thomas three-pointer with 17:09 on the clock pulled the Rams within three, 40-37, but four Colonial points over the next 40 seconds bumped the George Washington lead back to seven, 44-37, with 16:36 left.
Chris Gaston trimmed the Fordham deficit to five, 44-39, with a layup a minute later but George Washington netted the next six points to take its first double digit lead of the night, 50-39, with 11:40 remaining.
The Colonials led by eleven again just over a minute later, 52-41, when the Rams netted five answered points on a pair of Branden Frazier free throws and a Jeffrey Short three to make it a six-point game, 52-46, at the 8:22 mark. But an 8-1 Colonial spurt helped George Washington take its largest lead of the game, 60-47, with 5:14 left.
The Colonials led by 13 again, 64-51, with just under two minutes remaining when Fordham mounted one last attempt to scale the hill, going on a 9-2 run to pull within six, 66-60, on a pair of Thomas charity shots with 1:00 on the clock. Gaston started the run with two free throws and he then intercepted the ensuing inbounds pass and hit a jumper for four points in an eight second span.
The Colonials did their part in helping the Rams stay in the game, hitting just two of their six free throws over the final minute but the Rams couldn't capitalize on the poor free throw shooting.
A Bryan Smith three-pointer knotted the game at ten at the 13:52 mark and the game would be tied twice more over the next three minutes, the final time at 15 on a Frazier trifecta. The Colonials then scored eight straight to take a 23-15 lead with 8:55 left in the half and extended the lead to as many as nine, 25-16, with 7:57 on the clock before the Rams responded with a 9-3 run to make it a three-point game, 28-25, on a Leonard layup at 5:42.
But Fordham could get no closer in the half and trailed by four, 36-32 at the intermission.
Gaston led four Rams in double figures with 14 points, and he added six rebounds and a career-high five steals, while Frazier finished with 13 points and five assists, Leonard added 12 points and six rebounds and Thomas chipped in with ten points and three rebounds.
The Rams return to action on Saturday, February 23, as they host the University of Richmond Spiders in the Rose Hill Gym for Senior Day at 1:00 p.m.