Sunday, February 13, 2011

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Saint Joseph's at Fordham

by Ray Floriani
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - It looked like this might be the day. For a half at least. Fordham jumped out to a 12 point lead at the break before St. Joseph's came back for a 76-70 victory at the Izod Center.

Afternoon at the Izod

The Four Factors:

St. Joseph's57353112

The Tale of Two Halves:
The first half...
St. Joseph's333194

The second half...
St. Joseph's2745167

The game...
St. Joseph's6076127

Have to be impressed the way St. Joseph's came back. With a young team, on the road in the midst of a tough long season, the Hawks showed their will and stayed with it. The possessions show they did not get in a 'helter skelter' affair to rush in trying to cut the deficit. Rather, they took the approach that the final twenty minutes would provide ample opportunities to get the score to a manageable level and then put them in position to make their run.

Three point shooting was a key. The Hawks shot better beyond the arc than inside. The three point shooting came at a 64% rate (7 of 11) the second half. Two point shooting was 5 of 9 (56%). Overall St. Joseph's shot 60% (12 of 20) after going 11 of 31 (36%) the first half.

Both teams cared for the ball very well. Fordham had a slight rebounding edge offensively. Kervin Bristol and Chris Gaston had 10 rebounds each for the Rams.

Beside the increased offensive efficiency on the part of the Hawks, Fordham also struggled the final half as the production of two key players feel a bit. Alberto Estwick had a dozen at the half and Gaston had 8 points 7 boards in the books. The second half saw Estwick garner two points while Gaston had a relatively quiet 6 points 3 boards.

The damage inflicted on Fordham came courtesy of two young guards. Freshman Langston Galloway hit for 25 points while sophomore Carl Jones scored 15. Charoy Bentley, followed a solid performance against UMass, with a solid 14 points (5 of 7 shooting) in 23 minutes of relief. Langston and Jones however, took 43% of their team's shots while producing 53% of the points. They each scored a dozen in that game changing second half.

Fordham huddles before coming out the second half

Crunch Time
The shot chart the last eight minutes (St. Joseph's led 57-55 with eight to go) showed the Hawks scored six field goals. Four were off set offense. Two in transition and the last one on the break came by breaking full court pressure with under two minutes to go. The Rams had four field goals. Two were treys (by Branden Frazier) while the last two were on penetration baskets very late with the Hawks enjoying a two-three possession lead.

Numbers and Notes
Fordham is now 6-17 (0-11 in the A-10). St. Joseph's is 7-17 (2-8). Galloway's 25 points paced all scorers. Frazier and Brenton Butler paced the Rams with 17 points each.

One thing missing from the media room the prior two Fordham games at Izod was coffee. Today it was here, in full glory. Regular or decaf.

Win over Fordham was the Hawks' second straight. They entertain Xavier on Wednesday. Fordham's next game is also with Xavier, on the road February 19th. Win was number 1,500 in St. Joseph's long and tradition rich history.

"At the half I was worried about them (St. Joseph's )
playing harder than us the second half.
And they did." - Fordham coach Tom Pecora

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