Photo courtesy of Robert Cole Photography.
By David Cordova
Conference play has been up and down for the Fordham Rams this year, as they have had big wins in overtime against VCU and St. Joseph’s, but then had losses against the likes of Dayton, Duquesne and St. Bonaventure. Coming into last night’s game against La Salle, they were 10-13 overall and 4-6 in the A-10. But last night’s game against the Explorers, who were 12-9 overall and 6-4 in conference, would be no cakewalk, as one team took advantage of the other’s weakness by using their running game and executing on the boards.
La Salle 67, Fordham 52
The first few minutes of the game belonged to the visiting team, as LaSalle would run off to an 8-1 lead with 17:31 left in the first half. But then Fordham junior guard Antwoine Anderson would bring the Rams to within 8-6, with 15:57 to go.
The Explorers, led by junior guard Amar Stukes, would take a four-point lead, 15-11, with 10:36 to go. But the Rams would fight back behind sophomore forward Prokop Slanina and junior forward Christian Sengfelder to tie the score at 15-15 with 8:26 to go.
The first half would be a very close contest for both teams as defense was played tightly and calls by the referees were made very closely. But La Salle would gain another four-point lead, 25-21, with 3:10 left, after a three-pointer by junior guard Johnnie Shuler. Their tough play earned them lead at the half, 32-26.
The second half would start off the same for the Explorers as they would extend their lead to fourteen, 40-26, with 17:34 left, after six consecutive points by junior forward B.J. Johnson. But the Rams would not stay down for long, as they would cut their deficit to ten, 42-32, with 13:39 to go after three-pointers by Anderson and graduate student Javontae Hawkins.
As the half went on, Fordham would struggle to score and La Salle wold capitalize on that by building a fifteen-point lead, 49-34, with 9:57 to go, but then would raise that lead to nineteen, 56-37, with 7:14 to go.
The outstanding play of Johnson and the supporting cast of Explorers was too potent for the Rams to stop, as they would cruise to an easy win.
Johnson led La Salle with 26 points and eight rebounds and junior center Tony Washington added 10 points and five rebounds. For Fordham, Hawkins led with 18 points and sophomore guard Joseph Chartouny would add 14 points, five rebounds and five assists in the loss.