Men’s Basketball Drops First Two Road Games On Miscues, Turnovers



Bryan Smith, FCRH ’15, had posted double-digit points in both of the team’s first two games. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)


The Fordham men’s basketball team began their 2012-2013 season this past Friday in San Macros, Texas, with an 86-76 loss to Texas State. With this loss, Fordham is now 0-5 in its last five openers and 0-4 in games played in Texas. The game was the second between the two teams, with Fordham winning the first last year at Rose Hill by a score of 81-70.

Bryan Smith, FCRH ’15, had posted double-digit points in both of the team’s first two games. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)

Somewhat ironically, it was Brooklyn native Joel Wright who proved to be the difference maker for the Bobcats, scoring 19 points to go with 12 rebounds in the home team win over the visitors from the Bronx. That being said, a lot of the Rams wounds were self-inflicted. The team seriously hurt itself from beyond the arc and at the foul line in the first half, making only 43.8 percent of their free throws and 20 percent of their three-point attempts. Worst of all, Fordham gave up 23 turnovers that the Bobcats converted into 24 points, a huge swing in a reasonably close game.

Despite losing by ten, the Rams had the score as close as 77-71 late in the fourth quarter on the heels of a 5-0 run by guard Branden Frazier, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’14, who finished the game in double-digits with 18 points. Frazier was one of the top performers for the Fordham squad, along with Bryan Smith, FCRH ’15, who scored 16 points to go with five rebounds, and team leader Chris Gaston, FCRH ’13, who posted his 53rd career double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds, good enough to move him past Jean Prioleau for ninth-most points scored in school history.

In the second game of the year, the Rams fell to 0-2 against the overwhelming strength of a University of Pittsburgh team coming off of an 80-48 win against Mount St. Mary’s. Fordham didn’t fare much better than the home team’s first opponent, going down hard by a score of 86-51.

The team’s second contest and second straight away game saw the Gaston shut down to the tune of only four points, six rebounds and fewer assists (one) than turnovers (two). Fordham’s high scorers, the aforementioned Smith and Jeff Short, FCRH ’16, both finished with 11 points, a tally that would have been fourth-best on the opposing squad. The Panthers had three players in triple digits, with J.J. Moore, FCRH ’14, leading the way off the bench. Moore put up 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting. For Pitt, the win was what coaches often call a total team effort. Eight of their 10 players pulled down two or more rebounds, and none committed more than two personal fouls. In fact, Pittsburgh’s bench was responsible for almost as many points (41) as the entire Fordham team (51).

With a 0-2 record through their first two games, more anxious fans may be frantically searching in vain for a panic button. While the start is less than ideal for a team that finished 10-19 last season, it’s certainly not cause to abandon hope. The basketball season is a long one, and both losses were on the road to non-divisional opponents. If the Rams record starts to look like the 3-13 in-conference mark it stumbled to last season, then concerns will fly.

For now, Fordham enters a preseason exhibition tournament, and looks to host their first home game of the regular season on November 29 against Manhattan. With 26 games between them and the Atlantic 10 Championships, the Rams have plenty to be hopeful about. Not many teams boast a veteran leader like Fordham’s Gaston or bench scorers like Moore. Perhaps, with the right balance of drive, leadership and talent, this team will put the early road losses in the rearview mirror and fight for a championship in the spring.