New York Colleges: Fordham Rams

SJU routs Fordham, looks forward to 'Cuse

December, 7, 2013
NEW YORK -- St. John's flipped the script Saturday, and looked like an NCAA tournament team for the first time this season.

The Red Storm, a team with a nasty habit of falling way behind, came out blistering-hot, torching Fordham for 52 points in the first half, en route to a runaway 104-58 victory.

[+] EnlargeSt. Johns
Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsSt. John's looked like a NCAA tournament team for the first time against Fordham.
It was the first St. John's game of the season at Madison Square Garden, the second game of the now one-day Holiday Festival, and it quickly turned into a raucous celebration for the Red Storm.

"First game in the Garden, and we showed pretty much almost how (good) we're capable of playing," said guard D'Angelo Harrison.

Harrison (13 points) was one of five St. John's players in double figures. St. John's made 17 straight shots from the field during a nearly 13-minute stretch in the first half -- an assortment of jumpers, layups and dunks. The Red Storm led by 20 at halftime, and by as many as 48 in the second half, shooting 66.1 percent (39-for-59) for the game.

Fordham is no cupcake, either -- the rebuilding Rams entered the game 4-2, including an impressive win at Manhattan.

"We're young, and we didn't execute a game plan," Fordham coach Tom Pecora said. "Part of our game plan was to make them beat us over the top, and they shot the heck out of it. If they shoot the basketball like that, they're gonna be a tough team to beat for a lot of people."

The first thing St. John's coach Steve Lavin brought up in his postgame news conference was his team's assist-to-turnover ratio. The Red Storm had 29 dimes on 39 baskets, and just nine giveaways.

"They really looked for one another today," Lavin said. "There were a number of occasions where we made that extra two, three, four passes."

The Holiday Festival served as a coming-out party for St. John's forward Orlando Sanchez, who had gotten off to a slow start, averaging just 4.4 points and 4.7 rebounds. Sanchez scored a game-high 19 points, shooting 8-for-10 from the field, with eight boards and four assists.

Sanchez showed off his versatility, draining perimeter jumpers (including a pair of treys), as well as scoring in the paint. He credited his teammates for his newfound aggressiveness.

"Everybody on the team told me that I have to shoot, all the time -- I pass the ball too much," Sanchez said. "D'Angelo says all the time, 'Shoot the ball, you can make it.' JaKarr (Sampson) too."

"I shot everything today," Sanchez added with a smile, eliciting a chorus of laughter in the press room.

One player who won't be laughing much the next day or two is Fordham guard Jon Severe. The freshman from Brooklyn, who was averaging 23.2 points per game -- tied for 10th in the country -- shot 1-for-21 from the floor. Severe even came up empty on two dunk attempts in the second half.

"I feel for Jon Severe. Obviously he comes in here, a New York kid, a lot of hype, and his first time in the Garden and he lays an egg," Pecora said. "But he's gonna be a good player. ... I know there'll be better days ahead for him, and he'll continue to work hard."

Severe wasn't the only Ram who struggled. Sophomore Mandell Thomas scored a team-high 15 points, but shot 5-for-21. Senior Branden Frazier added 13, but shot 4-for-16. As a team, Fordham was 19-for-80 (23.8 percent).

"Frazier and Severe, they're the head of the dog of Fordham's team," Lavin said. "The idea was just to keep constant pressure on them."

St. John's played about as well as it can Saturday, and Fordham played about as poorly as possible (although the Red Storm had plenty to do with that).

The question is, was this just a blip on the radar, or a sign of things to come?

Lavin thinks the latter. "I think some things came together today that we've been working on," he said. "Obviously it's clear we've got a long way to go with this team, we all know that. ... (But) today gave us a little sneak preview of where we could be come February or March."

A knockout of Fordham is definitely nice. But going toe-to-toe for 40 minutes with Syracuse next Sunday at the Garden would prove a lot more.

Rapid Reax: St. John's 104, Fordham 58

December, 7, 2013
NEW YORK -- Some quick thoughts on St. John's 104-58 win over Fordham on Saturday, in the Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival:

What it means: St. John's played its most impressive game of the season, shooting the lights out in its first game at MSG. The Red Storm have won two in a row, and are now 6-2 on the season heading into a huge nonconference game (see below).

A much better performance was expected from the rebuilding Rams, who notched an impressive win at Manhattan at the end of November. This was embarrassing. Fordham drops to 4-3.

The turning point: St. John's led 52-32 at halftime, and never looked back. The Red Storm shot 22-for-28 (78.6 percent) in the first half, including making 17 shots in a row during a nearly 13-minute stretch. Fordham shot 11-for-32 (25.6 percent) in the first half.

Star watch: Orlando Sanchez broke out in a big way Saturday, with 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists off the bench. Sanchez made eight of his 10 shots from the field, including some long jumpers. Four other players were in double figures. Sir'Dominic Pointer just missed a triple-double, with 12 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, also off the bench.

Fordham was led by sophomore guard Mandell Thomas, with 15 points -- but Thomas shot 5-for-21. Freshman sensation Jon Severe had a nightmare game with nine points, shooting 1-for-21 from the field. (Rysheed Jordan, St. John's much-hyped frosh, had nine points, five assists and five rebounds in 21 minutes.)

Number crunch: St. John's shot 39-for-59 (66.1 percent) from the field for the game. Fordham shot just 19-for-80 (23.8).

What's next: St. John's is off until next Sunday, Dec. 15, when it hosts No. 4-ranked Syracuse at the Garden. Fordham will play at Colgate on Tuesday night.

W2W4: St. John's vs. Fordham

December, 7, 2013
Here's what to watch for when St. John's (5-2) plays Fordham (4-2) on Saturday, in the Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival. (It's the first St. John's game of the season at MSG.)

Tip-off is scheduled for approximately 1:30 p.m. (20 minutes after the conclusion of the Stony Brook-La Salle game, which tips at 11 a.m.), and you can watch on MSG.

GOT RUST? St. John's hasn't played a game in a week, since their come-from-behind 69-58 win over Georgia Tech in the consolation game of the Barclays Center Classic. And they don't play another game until next Sunday, Dec. 15, hosting No. 4-ranked Syracuse at MSG.

That makes this game even more important. A loss to Fordham means St. John's will probably go nearly three weeks without a win, leaving a bad taste.

This will be the 85th meeting between St. John's and Fordham, dating back to 1909. St. John's leads the series 63-21.

HEAD TO HEAD: St. John's freshman guard Rysheed Jordan got all the hype, but Fordham freshman guard Jon Severe has severely (no pun intended) outplayed Jordan to this point.

Severe, a Brooklyn native who played at Christ The King and was named New York's Mr. Basketball as a high school senior, is tied for 10th in the nation in scoring, averaging 23.2 points in his first six collegiate games. He's averaging four 3-pointers per game, and shooting 42.1 percent from beyond the arc.

Jordan, a Philadelphia native who was ranked the No. 17 overall player in the Class of 2013 by ESPN Recruiting, is averaging just 4.2 points in his first seven collegiate games, shooting 23.5 percent from the field.

THE RAMS: Fordham, picked to finish 11th in the 13-team Atlantic 10 in the conference's preseason poll, is off to a 4-2 start for the first time since 2006. Coach Tom Pecora appears to have turned a corner in his rebuilding project at Rose Hill.

Severe isn't the only high-scoring guard on the Fordham roster. Senior Branden Frazier, also a Brooklyn native, is second on the team in points (18.8 ppg), and tops in assists (5.2 apg). He's also averaging 6.5 rebounds. Sophomore guard Mandell Thomas is averaging 15 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

The Rams have won two in a row, including an impressive four-point win at Manhattan on Nov. 26 -- the Jaspers were picked to win the MAAC conference this season. Their losses were at No. 4-ranked Syracuse (by 15), and versus Sacred Heart (by 12).

Fordham entered the week ranked second in Division I in 3-point field goal defense, at 18.9 percent. St. John's was already one of the poorest 3-point shooting teams in the country -- 300th in 3-point makes per game (4.6), and 306th in 3-point percentage (29.1).

But offensively, the Rams are ranked 269th in overall field-goal percentage (42.1).

Fordham is New York's playoff team

December, 2, 2013
The Giants and Jets are going nowhere this season, but New York does have a football team it can be proud of.

The Fordham Rams continued their magical season Saturday, defeating Sacred Heart 37-27 in the first round of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

Two years removed from going 1-10, Fordham is now 12-1 -- the most wins in school history in the modern era (since 1920).

The Rams' prolific offense is led by junior quarterback Mike Nebrich, who has thrown for nearly 4,000 yards (3,986) and leads the FCS in completion percentage (73.5 percent).

Nebrich has plenty of weapons at his disposal. Fordham features three 1,000-yard receivers (Sam Ajala, Tebucky Jones Jr. and Brian Wetzel, all juniors) and a 1,000-yard running back (senior Carlton Koonce). Ajala leads the FCS in receiving yards (1,526).

And Nebrich did not play due to injury in the Rams' lone loss, a 27-14 defeat at Lafayette on Nov. 16.

Next up is a game at 10-2 Towson, on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. (The game will be broadcast via ESPN3.)

Towson is the No. 7 seed in the bracket. Eight teams received seeds and first-round byes.

It should be a high-scoring affair. Fordham is ranked 12th in the FCS in scoring (38.3 points per game), while Towson is 16th (37.2).

The Tigers have the second-leading rusher in the FCS, Terrance West (1,875 yards). West leads the FCS in rushing touchdowns (30).

Both teams own wins over Football Bowl Subdivision teams this season. Towson beat Connecticut, while Fordham took down Temple.

In terms of common opponents, both Fordham and Towson defeated Holy Cross. Fordham beat Villanova, but Towson lost to the Wildcats.

The winner of this game will play the winner of No. 2 seed Eastern Illinois and Tennessee State in the national quarterfinals.

The national championship game will played on Saturday, Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas.

Fordham makes FCS playoffs

November, 24, 2013
Fordham has made the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs for the third time in school history.

The Rams, currently ranked No. 6 in the FCS, received one of 13 at-large bids to the 24-team tournament. They will host Sacred Heart, the Northeast Conference champions, in a first-round game on Saturday, Nov. 30 at 1 p.m. (on ESPN3). It's the first time they've hosted a playoff game.

Fordham finished the regular season 11-1, setting a school record for most wins in a season in the modern era (since 1920). Their lone loss was two weeks ago, at Lafayette, by a score of 27-14. Starting quarterback Mike Nebrich did not play in that game due to injury, but returned and threw for 395 yards and five touchdowns in a 56-19 victory at Colgate on Saturday.

Lafayette won the Patriot League regular-season title and automatic bid. Fordham was ineligible for the Patriot League championship and automatic bid because they began issuing athletic scholarships prior to the other teams in the conference. But the Rams were good enough to earn an at-large bid.

If Fordham defeats Sacred Heart, which is currently ranked No. 20 and is 10-2 on the year, the Rams will head to Maryland to play Towson on Saturday, Dec. 7. Towson, which received the seventh of eight first-round byes, is currently ranked No. 9, and is also 10-2.

Two-time defending national champion North Dakota State, 11-0, is the No. 1 overall seed. They are on the opposite side of the bracket as Fordham, meaning those teams could only meet in the national championship game, on Saturday, Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas.

Obekpa breaks record in St. John's win

December, 8, 2012
It wasn’t pretty -- but it will go down in the record books.

St. John’s barely beat a struggling and shorthanded Fordham squad on Saturday, winning 58-47 at Madison Square Garden.

But the game will be remembered for the performance of St. John’s freshman center Chris Obekpa, who shattered a school record with 11 blocked shots, in just his 10th college game.

The 6-foot-9 Obekpa actually set a new record in his St. John’s debut, blocking eight shots against Detroit on Nov. 13. That mark didn’t last very long.

“Nothing,” said the soft-spoken Obekpa, when asked what was going through his mind as he swatted shot after shot Saturday night “Just play good defense, and it’ll come to you. That’s it.”

“I’ve never in my 25 years as a coach -- assistant coach, head coach, broadcaster, back to head coach -- I’ve never seen anybody quite like Chris,” said St. John’s coach Steve Lavin. “Because he doesn’t have the 7-foot-1 Tyson Chandler size. But the combination of his basketball intellect, and his length and timing, is what separate him from anyone I’ve seen.”
[+] EnlargeSt. Johns vs Fordham
Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsThe St. John's defense, including Chris Obekpa (who blocked a record 11 shots), collapse on Rams center Ryan Canty.

Lavin was fortunate to get a strong defensive performance from his team on Saturday, because the Red Storm were woeful offensively.

St. John’s shot just 9-for-34 (26.5 percent) in the first half, and trailed 27-24 at intermission. For the game, the Red Storm shot 20-for-61 (32.8 percent) from the field, and 16-for-29 from the foul line (55.2 percent).

But Fordham was even worse, shooting 19-for-66 overall (28.8 percent), including 8-for-38 in the second half (21.1 percent).

“I think in the second half their length bothered us,” said Fordham coach Tom Pecora, whose team dropped to 1-8. “I think we didn’t show enough poise in our shot selection, and that hurt us.”

St. John’s star guard D’Angelo Harrison had his second straight subpar game, shooting 3-for-12, and finishing with 14 points. Freshman Jakarr Sampson got off to a slow start, but picked it up in the second half and finished with a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds).

Lavin attributed the poor start, at least in part, to it being the Red Storm’s first game of the season at Madison Square Garden. “I think early, our newcomers in particular had some jitters,” Lavin said.

“When you step on the court, it’s just, like, blinding -- just the lights and the stage is on, and all the history that has happened on the court,” said Sampson. “It’s just big-time.”

The Red Storm improved to 7-3, but Lavin has plenty of things to worry about. His team entered the game shooting 63.6 percent at the charity stripe (ranking them No. 286 in Division I), and that number will drop even lower.

St. John’s was also outrebounded by Fordham, 56-40, including 24-17 on the offensive glass.

“We have to do it by committee. … Because we don’t have that traditional wide body,” Lavin said, when asked about rebounding. “More than anything, I think it’s continuing to have an awareness and amplify the sense of urgency from all five players to rebound, similar to gang tackling in football.”

But one thing’s for sure -- Lavin has a game-changer on defense in Obekpa. The freshman now has 49 blocked shots in 10 games -- that’s the second-best average in college basketball, behind only Kansas center Jeff Withey.

The NCAA record for blocked shots in a single game? Sixteen, set by Alabama A&M’s Mickell Gladness back in 2007.

Obekpa was asked if he thinks he can get 15 or 20 blocked shots in a game. “Yeah, that’s what I’m hoping to do,” Obekpa said.

Mr. Gladness might have reason to worry. Just like the rest of the Red Storm’s opponents.

Rapid Reaction: St. John's 58, Fordham 47

December, 8, 2012
Jakarr Sampson Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsSt. John's Red Storm forward Jakarr Sampson elevates over the Rams defense for the dunk.
What it means: St. John's has a lot of work to do if it wants to be competitive in the Big East this season.

The Red Storm struggled to beat Fordham -- picked to finish 14th in the Atlantic 10, and missing its best player (Chris Gaston) due to injury -- on Saturday night, ultimately winning 58-47 at Madison Square Garden.

St. John's improved to 7-3, but there are glaring issues, such as rebounding and free throw shooting. Fordham dropped to 1-8.

Turning point: St. John's shot the ball very poorly in the first half -- Fordham was ahead most of the way. The Rams led by as many as seven, and took a 27-24 lead into the locker room.

St. John's took the lead early in the second half, but couldn't put Fordham away until late. The Red Storm were up by just five at the final media timeout, 49-44, with 3:25 remaining. Coming out of that timeout, D'Angelo Harrison drained two foul shots, and then Jakarr Sampson drilled a jumper from the top of the key to make it 53-44 and put some serious distance between the teams, finally.

Star watch: Harrison had his second straight subpar game, finishing with just 14 points, shooting 3-for-12 from the field. Sampson had a double-double, with 16 points and 10 rebounds. The St. John's star was freshman center Chris Obekpa, who shattered his own school record with 11 blocked shots -- in just his 10th game with the Red Storm! He set a new school record with eight blocks in his very first game, against Detroit on Nov. 13. Quite a start to his college career.

Sophomore center Ryan Canty had a huge game for Fordham, with 15 points and 16 rebounds.

Number crunch: St. John's shot 20-for-61 from the field (32.8 percent), and 16-for-29 from the foul line (55.2 percent) -- pretty brutal. They also were outrebounded 56-40, including 24-17 on the offensive glass.

What's next: St. John's will play St. Francis (NY) next Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Barclays Center -- it's the middle game of the Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival tripleheader. Fordham is also part of that event -- the Rams will play Princeton in the first game, at 2:30 p.m. (No. 3 Michigan plays West Virginia in the third game, at 8 p.m.)

W2W4: St. John's vs. Fordham

December, 8, 2012
Here are three things to watch for when St. John's (6-3) faces Fordham (1-7) on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

Tipoff is at 7 p.m., and you can watch the game locally on MSG+.

GARDEN PARTY: This is St. John's first game of the season at Madison Square Garden -- the first of eight, prior to the Big East tournament in March. It's also the opening game of the annual MSG Holiday Festival, which has been converted to a one-day doubleheader in recent years. Rutgers and Iona will play in the nightcap.

MUST WIN? St. John's is coming off a very disappointing 81-65 loss to San Francisco on Tuesday. Yes, the game was played 3,000 miles from home -- but the Dons were picked to finish seventh out of nine teams in the West Coast Conference. Not good.

It's important for this young Red Storm team to avoid losing streaks, and a loss to Fordham -- which is off to a brutal start (see below) -- could be demoralizing. That makes this a critical game.

It would help if the Red Storm made some free throws. St. John's is currently ranked No. 286 in Division I (out of 347 schools), shooting just 63.6 percent from the foul line. Amir Garrett has made just 14 of 32 attempts (43.8 percent), and Sir'Dominic Pointer is 11-for-22.

THE RAMS: Fordham has won just one of its first eight games -- a two-point victory over Penn on Nov. 19. The Rams have lost to Texas State, Pittsburgh, Robert Morris, Fairfield, Manhattan, Harvard and Lehigh.

Fordham was already picked to finish 14th out of 16 teams in the Atlantic 10, but the loss of star forward Chris Gaston has made things even worse. The 6-foot-7 senior, who led the Rams in scoring and rebounding in each of the past three seasons, is currently out with a knee injury suffered in November. The team is currently led by 6-foot-3 junior guard Branden Frazier, who is averaging 15.6 points, 4.9 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game.

The Rams are really struggling on defense, and on the boards -- ranked No. 311 in scoring defense (75.1 ppg), and No. 325 in rebound margin (-7.4 rpg).

Fordham names new athletic director

September, 26, 2012
Fordham University has hired a new athletic director: David Roach, formerly of Brown and Colgate.

Click here to read the news story.

Pecora gets contract extension at Fordham

May, 29, 2012
Fordham University has announced a contract extension for men's basketball coach Tom Pecora, through the 2016-17 season.

Pecora took over at Fordham after the Rams won just two games in the 2009-10 season, and has won 17 games in his first two seasons at the helm, including victories over St. John's, Georgia Tech and a nationally-ranked Harvard team.

"Tom Pecora has done a tremendous job getting the Fordham program moving in the right direction," said athletic director Frank McLaughlin in a statement. "Tom has worked tirelessly to improve all facets of the program, not only upgrading the on-the-court results but he has also revitalized our alumni and fan base and has brought Fordham basketball great exposure on the national level."

"I'm grateful to the university for making this commitment to myself, my staff and my family," Pecora said. "Since our first day at Fordham we have been doing everything possible to get this tradition-rich program back to where it should be and we will continue to work hard in order to accomplish our goals and represent Fordham in a first-class manner."
Fordham University is in the market for a new athletic director, to replace longtime AD Frank McLaughlin.

McLaughlin has been given a new position, as the associate vice president of student affairs for athletic alumni relations and external affairs/athletic director emeritus.

Click here to read more.

Rapid Reaction: St. John's 56, Fordham 50

December, 17, 2011
NEW YORK -- A quick take on St. John's 56-50 win over Fordham on Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

WHAT IT MEANS: St. John's holds on to win the second game of the annual MSG Holiday Festival. More importantly, the Red Storm snap a three-game losing streak, and win their first game since starting point guard Nurideen Lindsey abruptly decided to transfer just nine games into his St. John's career. The Red Storm are now 5-5 on the season.

Fordham is now 4-6 under second-year coach Tom Pecora, and faces three more nonconference games before opening its Atlantic 10 schedule on Jan. 5 at UMass.

THE SKINNY: St. John's and Fordham traded the lead back and forth seven times in an up-and-down first half, before St. John's finished on an 11-0 run to take a 35-26 lead into intermission. The Red Storm played the entire first half without making a substitution, with junior guard Malik Stith sitting out for a minor violation of team rules regarding academics.

St. John's continued its run by scoring the first seven points of the second half, taking its largest lead, 42-26. But Fordham did not pack it in. The Rams ran off seven straight points from there, getting it back within single digits. Fordham got as close as 53-50 on a Kervin Bristol bucket with just under two minutes remaining, and had one possession with a chance to tie late, but failed. St. John's hung on for the victory.

BIG STARS: D'Angelo Harrison led three St. John's players in double figures with 15 points, 12 of them coming in the first half. Moe Harkless added 13 points and 16 rebounds, and God'sgift Achiuwa had 10 points and eight boards.

Branden Frazier had 17 points to lead Fordham, 13 of them coming in the first half. Chris Gaston had 11 points and 14 rebounds.

NUMBER CRUNCH: Fordham had much better rebounding numbers coming in, but St. John's dominated the Rams on the backboards, with a 51-37 edge, including 19-15 on the offensive glass.

WHAT'S NEXT: St. John's has one more game before Christmas, hosting Texas-Pan American at Carnesecca Arena this coming Wednesday at 7 p.m. Fordham will host Texas State on Thursday at 7 p.m.

W2W4: St. John's vs. Fordham

December, 16, 2011
Here are three things to watch for when St. John's (4-5) takes on Fordham (4-5) on Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, in the second game of the MSG Holiday Festival.

Tip-off will be at approximately 2:30 p.m., following Rutgers vs. Stony Brook, and the game will air on MSG+.

TURNING POINT: This will be St. John's first game since way back on Dec. 5, when the Red Storm lost at Detroit, 69-63. It will also be the team's first game since starting point guard Nurideen Lindsey decided to leave the program. St. John's is down to six scholarship players for the moment -- fatigue will become even more of a factor, and foul trouble must be avoided at all costs.

St. John's assistant coach Mike Dunlap, who will again coach in Steve Lavin's place on Saturday as Lavin continues to recover from prostate cancer surgery, was asked Friday how the team has adjusted to the loss of Lindsey. "They're in shape for adjustments because with Coach Lavin's illness, they know that we're next-play people," Dunlap said. "That is kind of how we've reared them and we're moving forward. They have been fantastic actually. The intensity of practice has been high-level, communication is up and they're maturing nicely from the Detroit defeat."

Dunlap was also asked if there has been any drop in team morale, with the team losing its last three games, as well as the departure of Lindsey. "I haven't seen one ounce of that," Dunlap said. "I think the esprit de corps is actually up a peg. I don't think it's so much related to Nuri, as it's related to the fact that these guys are -- with another two weeks -- maturing rapidly, and that's just what we're supposed to do with fine wine. It's supposed to age nicely and it is."

LOOKING BACK: St. John's suffered a stunning 84-81 loss to Fordham last December, blowing a 21-point second-half lead at Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx. This time around, a St. John's loss wouldn't be quite as surprising, considering its lack of depth.

In losing Lindsey, St. John's is without its third-leading scorer and leading assist man through the first nine games of the season -- but St. John's was only averaging 10.3 assists per game anyway, ranking them No. 308 in Division I in that category. Tied with them at No. 308? You guessed it, the Fordham Rams.

(RE)BUILDING PROJECT: Fordham is feeling good about itself after a 74-59 win at Siena on Monday. The Rams, who have gone just 2-46 in the Atlantic 10 the past three seasons, are hoping to climb out of the A-10 cellar this season under second-year coach Tom Pecora.

The Rams are shooting just 38.3 percent from the field, ranking them No. 322 in Division I, and just 57.3 percent from the foul line. But they do still have 6-foot-7 forward Chris Gaston -- who leads the team in scoring (14.6 ppg) and rebounding (9.9 rpg) -- along with some talented freshmen, led by Devon "Fatty" McMillan (11.6 ppg, 3.3 apg).

Fordham game with Georgia Tech cancelled

December, 26, 2010
Fordham's men's hoops game at Georgia Tech, scheduled for Monday evening, was cancelled Sunday.

The Rams were unable to fly out of New York on Sunday because of the severe snowstorm.

The game will not be rescheduled.

Rapid Reaction: Fordham 84, St. John's 81

December, 11, 2010
Recap | Box score

NEW YORK -- A quick take on Fordham's 84-81 victory over St. John's in an absolute thriller Saturday night at Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx.

WHAT IT MEANS: St. John's falls to 5-3 on the season, and suffers its second straight excruciating defeat, after a 67-66 loss at home to St. Bonaventure on Tuesday. Steve Lavin's crew blew a 21-point second-half lead. This one will be very tough to get over.

Fordham improves to 5-4, after finishing 2-26 last season -- but this win means so much more than that. It's always huge for Fordham to upstage St. John's, but especially in front of a sellout home crowd, and in the first year under a new coach, Tom Pecora.

A TALE OF TWO RUNS: St. John's forced 12 Fordham turnovers in the first half, and took a 45-33 lead into intermission. The Red Storm extended that lead to 60-39 early in the second half, and appeared poised for a blowout victory. But the Rams soon rattled off a 16-0 run, cutting the lead to 62-58, and we suddenly had a ballgme again.

St. John's was able to open the lead back out to 12, 73-61 -- and again, you thought Fordham was cooked. But the Rams ran off 16 in a row -- again! -- taking a 77-73 lead, and then they finished it off for a huge upset.

SHARP SHOOTERS: Brenton Butler -- Fordham's leading scorer coming into the game -- played with four fouls the entire second half yet finished with a team-high 22 points. That includes making 5 of 9 from downtown. As a team, the Rams shot 12-for-23 from 3-point land, while the Red Storm were 4-for-20.

Dwight Hardy broke out of his shooting slump on Tuesday for St. John's, hitting 10 of 18 shots and scoring a career-high 24 points. Hardy was even better on Saturday, with 30 points on 12-for-18 shooting, in his home borough of the Bronx. But it came in a losing effort.

FINAL SCORE ASIDE: Rose Hill is small, but the fact that it was packed to the gills -- a full house of 3,200 -- and that tickets were even being scalped outside, is a great sign that college basketball is buzzing again in the Big Apple.

WHAT'S NEXT: St. John's has eight days off, before playing Davidson on Monday, Dec. 20 in the first round of the Holiday Festival at the Garden. Fordham is off even longer -- the Rams won't play again until Dec. 22, when they host Kennesaw State. So they'll have plenty of time to soak in this incredible victory.