Chris Gaston Leads Men's Basketball Past Texas State
Dec. 22, 2011
Bronx, N.Y. - One team entered the game ranked ninth in the NCAA in scoring, averaging over 80 points per game. The other was averaging less than 60 points per game and was coming off a game where they shot under 30% from the field. But on Monday night it was difficult telling which team was which as Fordham, the team averaging 59.6 ppg, exploded for a season-high 81 points while holding Texas State University, the squad that was averaging 83.6 ppg, to 70 points as the Rams defeated the Bobcats in the Rose Hill Gym.
With the win, Fordham improves to 5-6 on the year, 4-1 at home, while Texas State drops its third straight to fall to 6-5.
"We have game goals and we achieved all of them tonight," said Fordham head coach Tom Pecora. "This was the first game we've done that. The goals were being plus-eight on the backboard, holding your opponent to under forty percent defensive field goal percentage, having no individual player on the other teams score 20 points, making more free throws than the opponent attempts and having less than 14 turnovers. It was the first time this year we've done it and that's why we won. But I wasn't happy with the way we closed it out and I talked to the team about it after the game."
It wouldn't be hard to find a team MVP of the game for Fordham as junior Chris Gaston stepped up and scored a career-high 35 points, shooting 13-of-17 from the field, and he grabbed 15 rebounds to notch his ninth double-double of the year and the 45th of his career. The nine doubles-doubles this year are the most for any NCAA Division I player.
The Rams won with defense, holding the Bobcats to shooting just 32.8% (22-67) from the field and outrebounded the visiting team, 52-39. Fordham also took care of business from the free throw stripe, converting 27 of its 38 charity shots.
The beginning of the game was all Fordham as the Rams scored the first eight points of the game, five from Gaston who opened the scoring with a three-point play 39 seconds into the contest.
After Texas State got on the board with a free throw 2:28 into the game, Gaston scored again for the Rams to put Fordham up nine, 10-1, with 17:25 left in the half.
Texas State used a 6-2 spurt to cut the Fordham lead back to five, 12-7, on a pair of Matt Staff free throws just over two minutes later, and trailed by six, 16-10, with 12:34 left. The Rams then reeled off 18 straight points to take a commanding 24-point lead, 34-10, on a Gaston layup with seven minutes remaining in the half. Gaston scored ten points in the run, including the final six.
The Bobcats trimmed the Fordham advantage down to 14, 39-25, with 3:18 left and trailed by 14 again, 41-27, with 1:43 remaining, before a Jeff Short three-pointer eleven seconds later gave the Rams a 44-27 lead, a lead they would take into the break.
A Gaston layup 22 seconds into the second half boosted the Fordham lead to 19, 46-27, before a Wesley Davis three-pointer, the first three-pointer of the night for the Bobcats, made it a 46-30 game 1:12 into the period.
The Rams then ran off nine unanswered points, six from Gaston, to take their biggest lead of the game, 55-30, following a Lamount Samuell layup with 16:36 remaining.
Eight straight Fordham points got the lead back to 20, 70-50, on a Gaston three-point play, and the closest the Bobcats would get would be nine, 79-70, on an Eddie Rios three-pointer with 17 seconds left.
Marvin Dominique added eight points and eight rebounds for the Rams while Kervin Bristol finished with five points, eight rebounds and three blocks in the first half before leaving the game with an injury.