Seniors Lead Men's Basketball to Win over St. Bonaventure in Regular Season Finale
March 8, 2008
Bronx, N.Y. - Fordham seniors Kevin Anderson, Michael Binns, Bryant Dunston, Sebastian Greene and Marcus Stout game the fans at Rose Hill a lot to cheer about over the past four years. So it was only fitting that when their final home game was over, the five seniors would return the favor to the fans, exchanging high-fives and chest bumps with the Fordham student section following the Rams' 69-62 Atlantic 10 win over St. Bonaventure University.
The game was pivotal for Fordham, as the Rams needed a win to clinch a berth in the 2008 Atlantic 10 Championship, which will be held from March 12th through the 15th at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The Rams will enter the tournament as the 12th seed and will face fifth-seeded Saint Joseph's University on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. with the winner taking on Richmond on Thursdsay at 2:30 p.m.
"This game was a testament to our seniors," said Fordham head coach Dereck Whittenburg. "These five guys have restored pride to the program and they showed their true character today. I knew as the game went on that they would rise to the occasion. Marcus Stout and Bryant Dunston really stepped up at the end with some big shots."
The Fordham seniors were determined that this would not be their last game in the Maroon and White, as Stout led all scorers with 21 points while Greene added 16 and Dunston notched his Atlantic 10 leading 15th double-double of the year with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The game was close throughout, with the Rams leading by one, 52-51, with just under four minutes remaining before a Brenton Butler three-pointer gave Fordham a 55-51 lead with 3:41 left.
A Dunston free throw 15 seconds later made it a 56-51 game before Stout nailed a jumper to put the Rams up, 58-51, with three minutes remaining.
A pair of Tyler Relph free throws cut the Fordham lead back to five, 58-53, seven seconds later before Stout scored four straight points, the first on a jumper with 2:21 left and the other two on two free throws just under a minute later to give Fordham its largest lead of the game, 62-53, with 1:34 left.
But the Bonnies wouldn't go away as a Relph jumper and a Zarryon Fereti three-pointer, sandwiched around a Kevin Anderson free throw, made it a 63-58 contest with 48 seconds left.
Four seconds later, Stout hit one of two charity shots to build the Fordham lead back to six, 64-58, before a Fereti jumper with 35 seconds remaining made it a four-point game, 64-60.
Butler sank one of two free throws two seconds later to put the Rams up five, 65-60, before a pair of Relph charity shots cut the Fordham advantage back to three, 65-62. But Butler and Dunston each hit two free throws over the final 25 seconds as the Rams held on for the win.
The Bonnies started the game off on a hot, jumping out to a 16-8 lead, their biggest of the day, following a pair of Michael Lee free throws.
But Fordham came back, scoring 13 straight points, capped by a pair of Greene highlight-reel dunks, to take a 21-16 lead following Greene's second dunk with 9:15 left in the half.
Fordham would build the lead to seven, 27-20, on a Herb Tanner three-pointer with 6:37 remaining in the period before St. Bonaventure scored 12 straight points, led by five from Fereti, to take a 32-27 lead with 1:44 left. A Greene free throw halted the Bonnies run and another from Anderson with 44 seconds left cut the Fordham deficit to three, 32-29, before Butler made it a two-point game, 32-30, with a free throw with six seconds left in the half.
A Greene lay-up 1:41 into the second half tied the game at 32, one of four ties over the first 8:46 of the period, the final coming at 44 on a Dunston free throw.
The Rams then ran off six straight points to take a 50-44 lead on a Stout jumper with eight minutes remaining before the Bonnies answered with a 7-2 spurt, led by four points from Relph, to make it a one-point contest, 52-51, with 3:57 left.
Stout hit four three-pointers in accumulating his game-high 21 points while Greene was 7-for-10 from the field and he added five rebounds. Butler also finished in double figures for the Rams, netting ten points to go with seven rebounds.
The win is Fordham's seventh straight over St. Bonaventure, the longest winning streak the Rams have against any Atlantic 10 school...The all-time series is now tied at 13 wins each with Fordham winning seven of the past eight...The win evens Fordham's record at 7-7 in the Rose Hill Gym this year, the Ram's fourth straight season of .500 or better at home...The Rams committed a season-low five turnovers in the game...With his 12 points, Dunston brings his all-time total to 1,817, good for second on the Fordham all-time scoring list while his 11 rebounds brings his career rebounding total to 988, good for third place on the all-time rebounding list...Dunston also recorded two blocked shots in the game to bring his Fordham career-record total to 291...Stout's 21 points brings his career total to 1,696, good for seventh place on the all-time list, one point behind Ken Charles for sixth place.