Buzzer Beater Gives La Salle a 64-62 Win over Fordham

Howard Goldin

Bronx, NY---The season’s second largest crowd (3,017) at Fordham’s Rose Hill Gym in the Bronx left disappointed after Saturday’s contest in which the Fordham Rams (9-18, 2-12) were defeated on a buzzer beating layup by Tareek Duren, which gave the 64-62 victory to the La Salle Explorers (14-14, 6-8).

The disappointment was magnified as it appeared to many of the onlookers that the game was headed to overtime when senior Brandon Frazier blocked Duran’s attempt at a game winning layup. The officials decided the game was not over and resumed play with 0.07 on the clock. Duren was not to be denied as he netted his fourth field goal to win the game.

La Salle got off early and led 9-0 at 15:43. A free throw by Sam Mills at 12:24 raised the lead to double figures, 14-4, for the first time in the game. At 9:23, a layup by Steve Zack brought the Explorers their largest lead of the game, 21-6. The Rams did not reach double figures until 11 minutes and 30 seconds had elapsed when a basket by Ryan Rhoomes gave them a total of 10 points but they finished the first half by outscoring the visitors 21-9 to cut the deficit to three, 30-27.

The visitors increased their lead to double figures again (42-32) when Jerrell Wright scored at 15:23 of the second half.  A 14-5 scoring run culminated with two free throws netted by Fordham freshman Jon Severe cut the La Salle advantage to a single point with 11:15 remaining. Although the Rams never led, a jumper by Bryan Smith knotted the score at 62 with 35.6 seconds on the clock.

Frazier’s 23 points and 6 assists were the high totals for either team. His 1,548 points is ninth in Fordham career scoring and his 476 assists ranks second in team history.

The tie was as close as Fordham was able to get. The loss dropped the Rams to undisputed last place in the Atlantic-10 Conference with two games left to play. Fordham travels to Rhode Island on March 5 and then returns home to host the George Washington Colonials.