Fordham closes homestand with a nail-biter
The most important seconds of Fordham’s victory over Hampton on Monday night might never have happened. After a Pirates bucket cut the Rams’ lead to one point with 22.2 seconds remaining, the clock failed to start following the inbounds pass. Chris Gaston was fouled on the play, and coach Tom Pecora called out to the officials that four seconds should be taken off the clock. Upon looking at the replay, referee Ed Corbett did even better by the Rams, shaving 7.6 seconds off the clock to bring the time remaining to 14.6 seconds.
Gaston missed the front end of the one-and-one, giving Hampton a chance to win on a made basket. The time that had come off the clock proved critical, however, as Fordham’s light pressure and stout defense forced Pirates leading scorer Darrion Pellum to hoist a wild, one-handed three from around 24 feet as time expired. The shot bounced off the rim, securing a 54-53 victory for the Rams.
The Rams led the majority of the up and down affair, but were never able to pull away, losing a first half lead of 12 points, falling behind by a point early in the second period before jumping back out to a nine point advantage. The second half run was keyed by six straight points from Kervin Bristol, who finished with seven total and a game high 16 rebounds.
The high energy affair was sloppy on both sides. Neither team shot well from the field or the free throw line, and Fordham won a narrow turnover advantage, forcing 15 while surrendering 14 of their own. The Hampton 2-3 zone defense forced two critical shot clock violations late in the second half that allowed the Pirates to climb back in the game; however, setting up the dramatic final moments. Despite the late free throw miss, Gaston secured his 41st career double-double in the win.