Men's Basketball Comes Up Short against Fairfield
Nov. 20, 2012
Bethlehem, Pa. - The Fordham University men's basketball squad took a page from its football brethren tonight, fighting for the full 40 minutes, despite numerous times when the Rams could have folded. But the game was decided on a deep three hit by Fairfield's Desmond Wade with 17 seconds left that broke a 71-71 tie and led the Stags to the win over the Rams in a consolation game of the 2012 NIT Season Tip-Off at Lehigh's Stabler Arena.
With the loss, the Rams fall to 1-4 on the season while Fairfield improves to 3-2.
The name on the back of the jersey read Wade and for those without a program they might of thought the first name was Dwayne as Wade netted a game-high 26 points, including what proved to be the game-winning three, a shot that was a good three feet behind the arc.
Following Wade's three, the Rams called a time out at midcourt. Out of the timeout, Fordham got the ball to Branden Frazer who launched a three with three seconds left that bounced off the rim to Bryan Smith but Smith wasn't able to get a shot off before the buzzer sounded to end the game.
Frazier led the Rams with a season-high 22 points while dishing out seven assists and Jeff Short added a season-best 17 for Fordham, shooting 6-for-9 from the field, including a perfect 3-for-3 from long distance.
The Rams trailed by ten with eight minutes left but refused to give in, scoring eight straight points over the next 1:18 to pull to within two, 60-58, on a Short three with 6:42 left.
A Wade three-pointer 15 seconds later bumped the Fairfield lead up to five, 63-58, but a Travion Leonard layup with 5:34 remaining made it a three-point game, 63-60.
After Maurice Barrow hit one of two free throws for the Stags, Frazier swooshed a three to pull the Rams to within one, 64-63, with 4:48 on the clock.
Fairfield responded with a Derek Needham trifecta to move its advantage up to four, 67-63, 22 seconds later but an old fashioned three-point play from Frazier, who was fouled on a layup, made it a one-point game again, 67-66, with 3:50 left.
A Wade lay in twenty seconds later put the Stags up three but Short answered with a three from the right wing to knot the game at 69 with 2:08 remaining.
A pair of Amadou Sidibe free throws gave the Stags a short-lived lead with 1:10 left as Bryan Smith cut to the basket and took a perfect pass from Frazier for a layup with 1:10 remaining to tie the game at 71, the tenth and final tie of the game.
The Rams took an early 11-6 lead following a Jermaine Myers three 4:28 into the game, the largest lead for either team in the half. Fairfield scored the next five points to tie the game at eleven and the contest would be tied five more times over the next nine minutes, the final time at 30 with 4:15 left in the half.
The Stags outscored the Rams 10-7 over the final 4:15 to take a 40-37 lead into the intermission.
Fairfield opened the second half with an 11-5 run to take a nine-point lead, 51-42, 3:16 into the period but the Rams dug in and scored the next seven points, four of those from Frazier, to cut the Stags' advantage to two, 51-49, with 12:06 remaining.
But the Stags responded with a 9-1 spurt to build their biggest lead of the night, 60-50, with 8:03 left.
Leonard finished with ten points and five rebounds while Myers finished with eight points, five rebounds and five assists for the Rams.
The Rams will now have a week off before returning to action on Thursday, November 29, as they host the Manhattan College Jasper in the Rose Hill Gym in the annual Battle of the Bronx at 7:30 PM in a game that will be televised live by the YES Network.