Fordham Drops Thirteenth Game in a Row

Despite Loss, Grasso Sees Improvement in 77-72 Loss to One of A-10’s Top Teams


Published February 18, 2010

Brenton Butler woke up on Dec. 6 with 982 Fordham career points. The guard hoped to reach 1,000 in the team’s game against Charlotte that afternoon. Of course, when he woke up he had no idea exactly how big those last few points would’ve been.

Forward Fahro Allihodzic, FCRH ’13, recorded six points and five rebounds against Charlotte, the A-10’s top ranked team. Fordham fell to Charlotte by five points, which coach Jared Grasso saw as a good sign. (Courtesy of Fordham Sports)

Fordham had just come off of a 108-60 loss to Xavier on Jan. 31, and was in the midst of a 12-game losing streak. Charlotte entered the game  having won six straight and with a chance to gain sole possession of first place in the Atlantic-10.

But in the words of Fordham interim head coach Jarred Grasso, “I had a different feel about this game. I had a different feeling at half time.” He expected to win and the team expected to win, playing like they knew they could do so no matter who else was on the court.

That feeling seemed to mean something as the Rams ended the first half with a one-point lead.

Even after their string of recent second half letdowns, the crowd at Rose Hill Gym ypassionately cheered and rose to their feet throughout the second half. Fordham rode the home crowd’s energy to a ten-point lead with around seven minutes left in the game.

The 49ers of Charlotte then went on an 8-0 run with much help from an offensive explosion from Derrio Green, immediately bringing the game back into contention. With a little over two minutes left in the game, Charlotte took their first lead of the second half.

Butler took the Ram’s last shot, a three-pointer with seconds left on the clock which could have sent the game into overtime and given him exactly 1,000 career points.

The play was meant to go to inside to forward Chris Gaston, but Grasso repeated that he was perfectly fine with Butler taking the shot himself. The shot was a long jumper from the right side of the basket, a few feet outside the three-point arc. The shot and the crowd both came back down in a place they didn’t want to be.

After the miss, the Rams were forced to foul on the 49ers’ ensuing possession and many Rams fans were forced to leave disappointed with the loss, despite spectacular play from Fordham.

Butler finished with 15 points for the Rams. Freshman Chris Gaston added 32 points and 12 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season.

Derrio Green led the 49ers with 24 points, many coming in the pivotal final minutes of the second half. Shamari Spears added 15 points and 13 rebounds in Charlottes 77-72 win.

Gaston dominated the game leading the Rams in scoring, rebounds and assists.

“There were stretches out there where he was the best freshman in the league, the best freshman in the country, even the best player in the league,” Grasso said.

It was a hard loss for the Rams, but coming off a 48-point loss to Xavier, a five-point loss to the top team in their league is definitely progress.

“It was our boys, that were so young, against their men,” Grasso said. “Shamari Spears is a man. An’Juan Wilderness is a man.”

With four freshman starting the game and five getting significant playing time, Grasso expects these boys to come together more successfully in the future.

“If this group continues to grow together they’ll become the face of Fordham basketball,” Grasso said.

Despite the loss, Grasso believed there was a silver lining to the game. “We still grew up today,” he said.