Men's Basketball Falls to Temple in Home Finale
March 6, 2013
Bronx, N.Y. -
Temple University will be leaving the Atlantic 10 after this year for the Big East and that move can't come soon enough for the Fordham men's basketball program, who fell to the Owls, 74-55, in their home finale in the Rose Hill Gym.
The game marked the final appearance in the Rose Hill Gym, and 100th career game, for Fordham senior Chris Gaston, who will leave Fordham as one of the most prolific players in school history. Gaston scored 12 points and grabbed three rebounds before fouling out with 6:42 remaining in his home finale, bringing his career totals to 1,650 points and 1,029 rebounds. He enters his final game at St. Bonaventure on Saturday in eighth place on the all-time scoring list and third on the all-time rebounding list.
Gaston got the Rams off to a quick start, scoring four of the first seven Fordham points, the other three came from a Jeffrey Short trifecta, as the Rams took a 7-4 lead three minutes into the contest.
A Ryan Canty put back bumped the Fordham lead to five, 9-4, with 15:48 left the half before a pair of Khalif Wyatt free throws made it a 9-6 game 1:30 later.
Another Short three with 13:04 on the clock gave the Rams their biggest lead of the night, 12-6, before the Fordham offense went cold as Temple netted the next ten points to take a 16-12 lead on a pair of Jake O'Brien charity shots with 8:57 remaining in the half.
A Gaston jumper 1:25 later cut the Fordham deficit back to two, 16-14, but an Anthony Lee dunk and Will Cumming layup helped the Owls get the lead to six, 20-14, with six minutes left.
Branden Frazier hit a layup to pull the Rams within four, 20-16, a minute later but the Owls outscored the Rams 8-1 over the final 4:24 to take a 28-17 lead at the break.
After being outrebounded 24-17 in the first half, Fordham head coach Tom Pecora decided to go big for the start of the second half, sending Canty, Gaston and Travion Leonard out to start the period. A Frazier jumper 15 second into the period cut the Temple lead to nine, 28-19, and the Rams trailed the Owls by ten, 32-22, following a Gaston three-point play with 17:20 left when Temple used a 12-2 run to open a 20-point advantage, 44-24, on a Scootie Randall free throw at the 14:03 mark.
Temple got the lead to as many as 25, 51-26, with 12:07 remaining before the Rams went on a 14-4 run, led by a pair of three-pointer from Short to make it a 55-40 game with 8:47 left.
The Rams got the deficit down to 15 three more times over the next three minutes but that was as close as they would get.
Short finished with a team-high 15 points, hitting five three-pointers, and he added four rebounds, while Frazier chipped in with 12 points, six rebounds and five assists.
With the loss, Fordham falls to 6-24 overall, 2-13 in the Atlantic 10, while Temple improves to 22-8 overall, 10-5 in the conference.
The Rams close out the season with a trip to St. Bonaventure, N.Y. to face the St. Bonaventure University Bonnies in an Atlantic 10 contest in the Reilly Center on Saturday, March 9 at 4:00 PM.