Men's Basketball Knocks Off Georgia Tech, 72-66
Dec. 30, 2011
Bronx, N.Y. - When Tom Pecora was hired as the head coach at Fordham University he envisioned games like tonight. A game where a big-time school comes into a packed Rose Hill Gym, a game that would be nationally televised showing the entire country the energy and enthusiasm of Fordham fans, and, most importantly, a game that would be won by the Rams. Tonight all that transpired as Fordham upended Georgia Tech out of the ACC, 72-66, in front of the first sold out crowd of the season in the historic Rose Hill Gym.
With the win, Fordham evens its record at 6-6 on the year, 5-1 at home, while Georgia Tech falls to 7-6.
"It's a great win for us, for the program and the university," said Pecora. "This is what our vision is, of what we want our program to be with a great crowd and a big-time opponent playing in the Rose Hill Gym. When you get an ACC school in here and beat them it's a marquee win. It's a win we'll look back on in the years to come and realize how important it was."
After scoring a career-high 35 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in his last game, Fordham junior forward Chris Gaston enjoyed another solid game for the Rams, scoring a game-high 23 points and pulling down a season-high 17 rebounds. It was his tenth double-double of the year, the most for any NCAA Division I player, and the 46th of his career. He did most of his damage at the free throw stripe, sinking eleven of his 15 charity shots.
The Rams led by one at the break, 32-31, and opened the second half with a 10-3 spurt to build an eight-point advantage, 42-34, on a Gaston layup with 14:40 remaining. Gaston scored five of the ten Fordham points in the run.
The Yellow Jackets whittled the Rams' lead down to three, 44-41, with a 7-2 run, capped by a Nate Hicks layup with 10:56 left in the game before the Rams responded with an 8-1 run to build their largest lead of the night, 52-42, following a Frazier jumper a minute later.
Georgia Tech again started to cut into the Fordham lead, eventually getting it down to three, 56-53, on a Daniel Miller three-point play with 6:40 remaining. But again the Fordham offense quickly responded with six straight points to get the lead back up to nine, 62-53, on a Bryan Smith put back with just under five minutes remaining.
The Rams would lead by nine again later in the game, 66-57, following a Frazier free throw when the Yellow Jackets netted six consecutive points to cut the Fordham lead to just three, 66-63, with 46 ticks left on the clock.
Seven seconds later, Smith hit one of two free throws to put the Rams up four, 67-63, but Reed nailed another three-pointer for Georgia Tech to make it a one-point game, 67-66, with 31 seconds left.
The Yellow Jackets fouled Kervin Bristol on the inbound pass and Bristol hit one of two free throws to make it a 68-66 game but Reed missed a jumper in the lane and the ball was rebounded by Gaston who was fouled with 13 seconds remaining. Gaston calmly sank both of his free throws to increase the lead to four, 70-66, and Frazier closed out the scoring with a pair of free throws with three seconds remaining, after a missed layup by Georgia Tech's Mfon Udofia.
The Fordham offense got off to a slow start as the Rams trailed 5-0 1:12 into the game. But layups from Gaston and Bristol over the next minute pulled Fordham to within one, 5-4.
Later in the half, Georgia Tech used an 8-2 run to turn a 14-14 tie into 22-14 lead with midway through the period. A Jeff Short steal and dunk and a Gaston layup quickly got the Yellow Jacket advantage down to two.
Georgia Tech would again lead by six, 31-25, with 4:58 left following a Reed free throw but the Rams closed out the half with seven unanswered points to take the 32-31 halftime lead.
Frazier finished with 19 points and six assists for the Rams while Smith added eleven points and five rebounds and Bristol grabbed eleven rebounds while netting seven points.
The Rams will return to action on Tuesday night, January 3rd, as they host the 23rd/24th-ranked Harvard University Crimson in the Rose Hill Gym at 7:00 p.m.