Men's Basketball Falls to Lehigh
Dec. 1, 2011
Bronx, N.Y. - It's said that basketball is a 94-foot game but on Thursday night it was a 15-foot game for the Fordham men's squad. Fifteen feet, as in the distance from the free throw line to the basket, a distance from which Fordham could only convert on six of its charity shots, while Lehigh made 23 of its 25 free throws, as the Rams fell to the Mountain Hawks, 78-60, in the Rose Hill Gym.
With the loss, Fordham falls to 2-3 on the year while Lehigh, which won its sixth straight, improves to 6-2.
"I'm not going to make any excuses tonight," said Fordham head coach Tom Pecora. "We shot ourselves in the foot with too many turnovers and too many missed free throws. We just couldn't get that streak going to get ourselves back in the game."
Chris Gaston paced the Rams with his fourth straight double-double of the year, scoring 14 points and grabbing a game-high 12 rebounds. It was the 40th double-double of his career.
The Rams recorded a season-high eleven blocks as a team, led by five from Kervin Bristol and three from Gaston. It was the most blocks by a Fordham team since the Rams swatted 12 shots against Rhode Island on February 12, 2006.
The game opened with both offenses running the floor as the Rams took a 12-11 lead 4:33 into the game on a Branden Frazier jumper. But Lehigh scored the next six points, four from Gabe Knutson, to take a 17-12 lead with 13:13 remaining in the half.
Fordham then outscored the Mountain Hawks 11-2 over the next five minutes to build a four-point lead, 23-19, following an Alberto Estwick three-pointer with 8:53 left in the period. Gaston scored four of the eleven points for the Rams in the run.
The Fordham offense went cold over the next four minutes as Lehigh used a 9-2 surge to take a 28-25 lead with 4:10 left in the half. But the Rams closed out the period with a Frazier layup at 1:55 and a Frazier jumper 30 seconds later to take a 29-28 advantage into the intermission.
Holden Greiner opened the second half with a three-pointer for the Mountain Hawks before a Gaston layup and three-pointer helped Fordham regain the lead, 34-31, just over two minutes into the half.
The Rams would again lead by three 2:30 later, 39-36, on a Marvin Dominique basket but Lehigh scored ten straight points to build a 46-39 lead following another Greiner three-pointer with 12:25 remaining.
Fordham carved the Mountain Hawk advantage down to one, 46-45, with four points from Devon McMillan and two from Estwick, just over two minutes later.
Later in the half, the Rams trailed by four, 51-47, when Lehigh used an 11-4 run to build a commanding eleven-point lead, 62-51, with 4:08 left and the Mountain Hawks hit all 12 of their free throws over the final 3:24 to secure the win.
McMillan finished with 16 points and five assists for the Rams while Frazier added 13 points and Estwick had seven points and six rebounds.
The Rams return to action on Monday, December 5th, as they close out the three-game home stand by hosting the Hampton University Pirates in the Rose Hill Gym at 7:00 p.m.