Sacred Heart Defeats Fordham Rams, 85-73

Howard Goldin

Bronx, NY---Fordham Rams (2-2) rooters and, perhaps, players on the basketball squad expected the Saturday afternoon home contest with the Sacred Heart Pioneers (1-4) to be an easy win for the Rams. They may have been looking past this expected victory with thoughts of the Battle of the Bronx game at Manhattan on November 26 uppermost in their minds.

The Rams, never trailing the Pioneers throughout almost the entire first half, reached their largest lead, nine points, 29-20, with 6:21 remaining in the half. Circumstances changed drastically for the Rams before the half concluded as the Pioneers, on a 17-4 scoring run, took a four point advantage with 0.44 seconds on the clock. Sacred Heart, gaining its first lead when only 2:18 remained in the half, possessed a 37-35 lead when the period ended.

Freshman phenom Jon Severe of Fordham led the scoring with 13 points, but all were scored in the first seven minutes.

A 3 by Severe began the second half to give Fordham the lead again. The lead changed hands several times and the score was tied five times in the first 13 minutes of the second stanza of the contest.

Two free throws by senior Branden Frazier at 8:37 gave Fordham a 65-62 lead, its largest in the second half. From that point, the control of play was in the hands of the visitors. The Pioneers outscored the Rams, 23-8, during the remaining minutes to take an 85-73 victory. Sacred Heart netted 10 of the game’s final 11 points, eight from the charity stripe.

Severe led the scoring with 23 points. Frazier compiled his second consecutive double-double, 21 points and 10 rebounds. Frazier reached 21st place in Fordham career scoring with 1,165 points.

Fordham head coach Tom Pecora expressed extreme displeasure in a post-game press conference, “I’m embarrassed by our performance. They played much harder than us. It wasn’t even close. They deserved to win. I apologize. I’m the coach, it’s on me. To come into our gym and they played harder than us just turns my stomach.”

He spoke in some detail of the specific reasons for the Sacred Heart win, “The key to the game was to dominate the backboards. They [the Pioneers] were +14 {49-35]. They shot 60% in the second half. That says it all. They got 34 free throws. Give them credit; they did the job.”

Interestingly, Fordham and Sacred Heart will meet in the first round of the FCS Championship on Saturday afternoon, November 30 at Jack Coffey Field. Fordham will host its first FCS playoff game.